It seems you can’t watch the news these days without hearing about some sort of fraud. Fraud comes in many different shapes and sizes. One of the more common fraud stories of late is consumer data breaches. A consumer data breach is when an outsider gets unauthorized personal data related to a consumer.
Like it or not, we live in a computer world. Over the last decade or so the use of computers, online bill paying, online shopping, Social Media and Smart Phones has exploded. Most consumers use some sort of electronic media daily and provide personal information about themselves. This type of personal information is what gets stolen in many data breaches.
I did some research related to the number of fraud complaints from 2001 thru 2013. According to statistics gathered from the Consumer Sentinel Network, fraud cases are on the rise. The Consumer Sentinel Network released their findings in the graph below. The rise in the number of fraud complaints from 2001 to 2013 is disturbing. The complaints went from 137,306 in 2001 to an incredible 1,165,090 in 2013.
As a consumer, it is important to be aware of the growing trend in fraud cases. While it may be impossible to 100% protect yourself from fraud, you certainly can reduce the risk of falling victim. Educate yourself and be mindful of what information you provide and share.
Click here to read a past blog I wrote for some tips and warning signs.