Four (4) in 10 consumers who applied for pandemic benefits since 2020 say their identities were misused
SAN DIEGO, June 2, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity crime, and – LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, a leading provider of data, analytics, and technology to help organizations manage risk - have released the Pandemic-Related Identity Fraud Crime Victim Impacts Report. The report shows how individuals and government agencies have been impacted since 2020 by an unprecedented wave of government benefits identity fraud.
Based on responses from more than 1,800 consumers, self-identified identity crime victims, and government officials, the pandemic-related identity fraud report was originally presented at the ITRC 2022 Government Identity Fraud Summit in April.
"We speak with identity crime victims every day at the ITRC," said Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. "However, during the past two years, we have seen a volume and velocity of identity fraud on an unprecedented scale. This report shows the scope of the fraud, and gives us a roadmap for how to help avoid similar mass fraud events while respecting consumer privacy."
"We are proud to collaborate with impactful organizations like the ITRC to protect Americans from identity theft and provide resources for those in need," said Haywood Talcove, CEO, Government, LexisNexis Risk Solutions. "We believe in putting people first in any discussion about fraud prevention, because every statistic represents a real person and potentially a family negatively impacted by identity theft. The pandemic put an unprecedented strain on government benefit systems. Studies such as this can help us improve technology and continue to assist government agencies as they work to provide critical services to deserving citizens."
The pandemic-related identity fraud report points to several areas of concern, including:
- Forty-two (42) percent of pandemic benefit applicants reported being the victim of identity fraud that led to them being denied benefits or benefits being disbursed in their name when they had not applied.
- Twenty-four (24) percent of victims' cases required between six months and one year to resolve. Eight (8) percent of 2021 victims describe their cases as unresolved in April 2022.
- Fifty-nine (59) percent of government executives reported that they have modernized their technology since January 1, 2020. Thirty-one (31) percent added steps to their identity verification process, 13 percent added new tools, five (5) percent moved to an automated ID verification system, and three (3) percent added a new vendor.
- Seventy-one (71) percent of those who made changes to their identity verification process saw no change in the acceptance/rejection rate, while 24 percent saw the acceptance rate increase. Six (6) percent saw the rejection rate increase, and six (6) percent saw the fraudulent application acceptance rate increase.
- There are significant disconnects between the types of identity credentials consumers are required to provide to government agencies and the willingness or desire of individuals to provide the information. While 16 percent of consumers expressed no qualms with providing the requested information, the remaining respondents revealed varying levels of concern. The largest group of consumers – 48 percent – were concerned that their personal information could be exposed in a data breach. Employee misuse, government surveillance, profiling and identity confusion were the other concerns identified.
View the full pandemic-related identity fraud report here.
About the Identity Theft Resource Center
Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a national nonprofit organization established to empower and guide consumers, victims, business and government to minimize risk and mitigate the impact of identity compromise and crime. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its website live-chat idtheftcenter.org and toll-free phone number 888.400.5530. The ITRC also equips consumers and businesses with information about recent data breaches through its data breach tracking tool, notified. The ITRC offers help to specific populations, including the deaf/hard of hearing and blind/low vision communities.
About LexisNexis Risk Solutions
LexisNexis® Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. We provide data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries, including insurance, financial services, healthcare, and government. Headquartered in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we have offices throughout the world and are part of RELX (LSE: REL/NYSE: RELX), a global provider of information and analytics for professional and business customers. For more information, please visit http://www.risk.lexisnexis.com and http://www.relx.com.
Identity Theft Resource Center
Head of Earned & Owned Media Relations
888.400.5530 Ext. 3611
LexisNexis Risk Solutions
Alex Achten, Identity Theft Resource Center, 888-400-5530 x 3611, [email protected]
Paul Eckloff, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, 202-941-6986, [email protected]
SOURCE Identity Theft Resource Center