What Is Synthetic Identity Fraud?

Id theft has all the time been a difficulty, however, because the web has taken over extra facets of every day life, the risk has by no means been larger. It’s turn into simpler to steal individuals’s private info, and a brand new drawback has emerged: artificial id fraud.

So what’s artificial id fraud, and how are you going to cease it?

What Is Artificial Id Fraud?

Artificial id fraud is the place criminals use actual info to create a faux id. As a substitute of posing as another person, they piece collectively stolen credentials to pose as somebody who doesn’t really exist. As unusual because it sounds, it’s remarkably widespread.

Probably the most well-known artificial id fraud examples occurred in 2018 in New York. A bunch of 13 criminals managed to steal greater than $1 million by taking out loans as different individuals. Nevertheless, not like a conventional fraud case, not one of the people they pretended to be have ever existed.

This group created 20 faux identities by combining elements of actual info. They began with stolen Social Safety numbers of people that had little to no credit score historical past. Then, they paired these numbers with completely different names, addresses, and the dates of beginning of actual individuals to create what appears to be like like a report of an precise particular person.

Not all artificial id theft examples are that elaborate or large-scale, however all of them observe the identical concept. In some instances, criminals will use a faux identify and birthday, however an actual SSN and handle. They’ll then take out loans or bank cards, defraud authorities assist packages, or get a job with out authorized citizenship.


In contrast to id theft utilizing a real identify, these faux identities received’t instantly pop up as potential fraud. Combining a number of components makes them appear actual, however since they’re faux, you may’t evaluate them towards earlier monetary historical past to establish them as fraud.

Artificial Id Fraud Statistics

In line with analysis by Keypoint Intelligence of Konica Minolta, 48 % of small- and medium-sized companies say knowledge safety is their greatest IT problem. Artificial id fraud has grown with that pattern, costing U.S. banks and monetary establishments an estimated $20 billion in losses in 2020 alone.

In 2019, the Federal Reserve said artificial fraud was the fastest-growing sort of fraud in the US. These crimes accounted for 20 % of all credit score losses in 2016, costing the nation $6 billion.

Artificial id fraud stole the identities of 1 million kids in 2017 alone. Children are widespread targets as a result of they haven’t any credit score historical past. A substantial 39 percent of minors have been victims of fraud in 2017, in comparison with simply 19 % of adults.

Tips on how to Stop Artificial Id Fraud


Artificial fraud examples can simply move undetected by conventional fraud fashions. Regardless of that, there are some things you are able to do to assist forestall this.

The easiest way to stop artificial id fraud is to guard your Personally Identifiable Data (PII). Use robust, distinctive passwords on all of your on-line accounts. Multi-Issue Authentication (MFA) can cease 99.9 % of automated assaults, so it’s a good suggestion to allow that, too.

By no means give away personal info to an unknown supply, and punctiliously examine any message that asks for it. Likewise, don’t click on any hyperlinks in emails that appear unusually pressing, too good to be true, or simply plain unusual. These may very well be criminals making an attempt to get info like your true identify to make use of in id theft.

Tips on how to Report Artificial Id Theft

You may monitor your credit score historical past to verify for potential fraud. When you suppose you’ve turn into a sufferer, right here’s the way to report artificial id fraud.

First, name the financial institution or credit score bureau you have been taking a look at once you observed one thing uncommon. Clarify to them what you thought was unusual, like a purchase order you didn’t make or info that isn’t proper. You can even freeze your credit score to cease fraudulent exercise.

From there, regulate issues like your financial institution historical past, credit score rating, insurance coverage, and tax info. File a fraud report with the FTC or contact legislation enforcement when you see continued suspicious exercise.

Keep Protected From All Fraud Varieties

Fraud is an enormous drawback, and true identify id theft isn’t the one type anymore. Figuring out what artificial id fraud is can assist you discover and forestall it, holding you and doubtlessly your kids secure. This crime could be scary, but it surely’s not inevitable.

What Is Id Theft and How Can You Stop It?

Hundreds of thousands are affected by id theft, however what really is it? How will you cease your self falling sufferer to it?

Learn Subsequent

About The Writer

Leave a Comment