Identity Theft: Trends, Patterns, and Typologies Reported in Suspicious Activity Reports: Filed by Depository Institutions January 1, 2003 - December 31, 2009   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Identity theft was the sixth most frequently reported characterization of suspicious activity within the period of the study, behind structuring/money laundering, check fraud, mortgage loan fraud, credit card fraud, and counterfeit check fraud. Based upon analysis of the study sample, the number of identity theft-related depository institution SAR [Suspicious Activity Report] filings submitted during calendar year (CY) 2009 was 123 percent higher than the number reported in CY 2004. This compares with an 89 percent increase in the numbers of all depository institution SAR filings made in CY 2004 versus CY 2009. Over 86 percent of sample depository institution SAR filings bearing either the identity theft suspicious activity characterization or identity theft-associated keywords in their narratives actually described identity theft. Most of the remainder of the filings described identity fraud or provided insufficient information to confirm identity theft. Credit card fraud was the most frequently co-reported suspicious activity characterization with identity theft, appearing in over 45.5 percent of sample filings. In about 30 percent of these filings reporting the successful takeover of an existing credit card account, and 17 percent reporting the successful unauthorized set up of a new credit card account, the alleged identity thief added his/her name to the account as an authorized user. Several types of loan accounts were reportedly abused in 31 percent of filings. In 56.5 percent of filings specifically reporting student loan fraud, subjects included both their name and the victim's name on the loan application as either the borrower or co-signer."

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Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (U.S.): http://www.fincen.gov/
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