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Over 80% of identity crimes victims in 2022 were caught in a scammer’s net, ITRC says


May 24, 2023

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Over 80% of identity crimes victims in 2022 were caught in a scammer’s net, ITRC says

The latest Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) report sheds light on the most significant identity compromise incidents consumers faced in 2022.

The volume of identity fraud reports is still at an all-time high, with Google Voice swindles victimizing 61% of individuals who filed a report to the ITRC, according to the non-profit organization, which aims to support identity theft victims.

Unsurprisingly, 55% of the reported identity crimes were linked to compromised credentials and 40% to misuse of users’ login information. Only 1% of all reported cases were attributed to individuals who were notified of an attempted misuse of their online credentials that failed.

How were these credentials compromised or misused? The ITRC says that 80% of identity compromises were linked to victims falling for scams, with 61% of victims reporting account takeovers and 32% reporting new account creation by the scammer.

In the existing account takeover category, the ITRC says criminals target IRS accounts, checking accounts, credit card accounts, social media accounts, unemployment and DMV accounts.

Moreover, social media accounts accounted for 72% of all non-governmental and non-financial accounts misused by fraudsters in 2022.

The agency’s analysis also highlights changes within the identity crime landscape, and shows how criminals are adapting or switching tactics:

  • Digital fraudsters are sharpening their social engineering skills and getting better at persuading people to share personal data
  • Identity thieves are misusing data stolen through data breaches more frequently. Specifically, they are misusing exposed Social Security numbers to gain employment or when committing crimes.
  • Drivers’ licenses are heavily targeted, with victims consistently reporting identity thieves have been using them to obtain auto loans, and open new bank accounts or cell phone accounts.

As previously mentioned, Google Voice scams were among the top reported scams in 2022. However, the ITRC also received reports of government impersonation scams (Department of Homeland Security or IRS) lottery/sweepstakes scams, or fraudsters pretending to be from a legitimate business (CVS, PayPal or cable companies).

During their interactions with the scammers, victims reported exposing the following information (alone or in combination with other personal data):

· Phone number (72% of individuals)

· Name (55%)

· Address (9%)

· Full or partial Social Security Number (9%)

· Date of birth (6%)

· Driver’s license number (5%)

Additionally, 5% of reported identity compromises were linked to data breaches or unauthorized access to computers/mobile devices holding victims’ personal information.


· Social Security Numbers (59%)

· Date of birth (23%)

· Driver’s license number (17%)

· Account number (10%)

· Medical record (7%)

· Password (6%)

· Username (4%)

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Use Bitdefender Identity Theft Protection (US only) to stay in the know and limit financial losses associated with data breaches and identity crimes.

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  • 24/7 identity monitoring to detect if your personal information is on the dark web and to watch out for change-of-address requests, attempts to take over accounts, and court records that may show crimes falsely reported in your name
  • An easy way to view your credit score or order a credit freeze in case of compromise
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Alina is a history buff passionate about cybersecurity and anything sci-fi, advocating Bitdefender technologies and solutions. She spends most of her time between her two feline friends and traveling.

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