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US digital ID fraud cost $52B in 2021, Javelin estimates

Forty-two million Americans were victims of digital identity fraud last year, according to new research, costing billions.

Pandemic-related shifts to digital services in the U.S. economy are already known to have sparked rampant identity fraud.

A report by Javelin Strategy & Research reveals that last year there was a 109 percent jump in new-account fraud, a 90 percent leap in account takeovers, and an 18 percent increase in peer-to-peer payment fraud, Payments Journal reports. Fully $52 billion was lost to digital ID fraud, according to Javelin.

The total impact of traditional digital identity fraud – the misuse of a consumer’s personal information – a loss of $24 billion for 15 million consumers.

The financial damage from identity fraud scams involving direct contact with victims by criminals totaled $28 billion for 27 million consumers.

The losses are lower than in 2020, according to Javelin, when $56 billion was stolen. (Traditional identity fraud measured $13 billion that year.)

Javelin recommends banks offer complimentary identity protection, easy-to-access online tracking of fraud cases and restitution of stolen funds during investigations.

The research firm suggests that banks add behavioral biometrics tools to personally identifiable information and device-based controls to shield customers.

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