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Alarming 2018 consumer fraud statistics

The rate at which Alabama consumer fraud is increasing year-by-year is staggering. In a study, it was discovered that fraudsters are becoming much more technologically advanced, with the vast majority of crimes taking place online. These hackers are often untraceable, and may be located anywhere in the world. Unfortunately, many are never identified and brought to justice.

Identity theft, which is the number one method of consumer fraud, increased by a whopping 8 percent from 2017 to 2018. Fraudsters were able to steal the identities of an additional 1.3 million victims, and ultimately stole $16.8 billion dollars from unsuspecting consumers. These funds were stolen primarily by non-card fraud and account takeover.

Account takeover is the act of “taking over” a website when a consumer logs on, thereby giving the appearance that the consumer is actually operating on the official company website. Once logged in, the consumer continues to enter personal information, which the fraudster can immediately steal through a replicated website. This type of activity was found to have tripled over the past year, and was responsible for $5.1 billion of the total amount stolen by identity theft. The top method through which fraudsters were able to accomplish this crime? Online shopping.

Victims of identity theft or fraud often spend a substantial amount of time in resolving the matter. A consumer fraud attorney can help speed the process along and save hours of exhausting phone calls. In addition, he or she can also offer resources through that may increase security measures on accounts and credit reports to prevent theft from happening again.

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