The number of fraud victims in the U.S. rose by eight percent in 2017 to total 16.7 million, according to new data released by Javelin Strategy & Research last week. U.S. consumers experienced a total of $16.8 billion in fraud losses.
The survey noted that fraud tactics have become increasingly more sophisticated over the past year. Reports of account takeover reached a four-year high in 2017, with losses from that kind of fraud totaling $5.1 billion. The survey also noted an uptick in the number of intermediary accounts — such as Paypal or Amazon accounts — that were opened fraudulently and used to transfer funds from victims’ existing accounts.
In a year that saw several high-profile data breaches — including those at Yahoo and Equifax that exposed the personal data of millions of consumers — concern about identity theft was on the rise in 2017. Sixty-nine percent of consumers reported being concerned about fraud, up from 51 percent in 2016.