Synthetic identity fraud continues to be among the most prevalent tactics used by fraudsters to target lenders, with both incidences and lender exposure associated with the fraud reaching all-time highs during the first half of 2023, according to new research by credit reporting agency TransUnion.
TransUnion said auto lenders are among the most targeted U.S. lenders, with total synthetic identity exposure (this is, potential losses) reaching $1.8 billion in the first half of 2023 compared to $1.3 billion during the same time period last year. Bank credit cards were the second most targeted category, with exposure reaching $994 million in the first half of this year, up from $917 million during the first half of 2022. At the same time, exposure for retail credit cards dropped to $126 million from $144 million.
TransUnion also examined data breaches that occurred in the first half of 2023, finding that primary breaches increased by 5% compared to the same period in 2022. While a person’s name continues to be the most exposed individual credential, a Social Security number has passed date of birth as the second most often exposed individual credential in breaches, the company said. Social Security numbers were exposed in 69% of breaches, up from 60% last year. Driver’s licenses or other state identification information were exposed in 31% of breaches in the first half of 2023, more than double last year’s 14% mark. Checking or savings account numbers also saw their exposure double year over year.