HelpNetSecurity.com reported the comments from John Buzzard (Lead Analyst, Fraud & Security, with Javelin Strategy & Research) “The pandemic inspired a major shift in how criminals approach fraud,…Identity fraud has evolved and now reflects the lengths criminals will take to directly target consumers in order to steal their personally identifiable information.” The March 24, 2021 article entitled “Total combined fraud losses climbed to $56 billion in 2020” included these comments:
The global pandemic has had a dramatic impact on consumer financial behavior. Consumers spent more time at home in 2020, transacted less than in previous years, and relied heavily on streaming services, digital commerce and payments. They also corresponded more via email and text, for both work and personal life.
The reduction in transaction activity, combined with financial institutions’ more robust antifraud measures, made it harder for criminals to succeed in their usual fraud activities. They opted instead to interact directly with their fraud victims via identity fraud scams.
The scams can sometimes be averted when consumers are more sensitive to misspelled email addresses, suspicious requests for money, or random messages through social media from criminals claiming to represent a financial institution.
$56 billion is amazing, but not surprising!