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Experian reports considerable uptick in online identity fraud
July 19, 2012 - 4:33pm
While numerous efforts have been undertaken in both the public and private sector to combat identity theft and increase transaction processing security for businesses and individuals, fraud still remains a significant issue. This is highlighted in a recent report issued by major credit card bureau Experian, which features some statistics that may prove discomfiting to those conducting business online.
According to Finextra, the study points out that over 12 million pieces of personal financial information were disseminated and traded by criminals in the first third of 2012 - the months from January through April. About 90 percent of this data consisted of passwords and other information used by countless individuals to log in and access their online financial platforms.
The news source reports that the total amount of fraud from January to April 2012 is a sizable increase from figures collected as recently as 2010. In that entire year, 9.5 million pieces of the same kind of information were exchanged for fraudulent means.
Experian's study identifies the tendency of some users to use insufficient means of financial protection as one reason for the surge. As evidence, it states that 24 per cent of study participants within a sample base of 2,000 United Kingdom citizens used five passwords, on average, for all personal logins, and 4 per cent used only one.
Conversely, in Canada, initiatives to suppress credit and debit card fraud - a fairly frequent result of identity theft for numerous individuals - have shown positive results. Between 2010 and 2011, Interac reported the total amount lost to debit card fraud as having dropped from $119 million to $70 million.