Javelin Strategy & Research yesterday released its 2013 Identity Fraud Report, which states that more than $21 billion was stolen from 12.6 million victims in the United States in 2012 -- approximately one victim every three seconds.

"According to the report, data breaches continue to play a major part in identity fraud incidents," writes PCMag.com's Angela Moscaritolo. "One out of four data breach notification letter recipients became a victim of identity fraud last year, the highest rate since 2010. Moreover, those who had their Social Security number compromised in a data breach were five times more likely to be a fraud victim than the average consumer."

"Over the past year, companies are responding more quickly which means a consumer’s information is being misused for fewer days than ever before, and the mean cost per victim has been flattening, according to Javelin," writes Bank Systems & Technology's Bryan Yurcan. "While credit card numbers remain the most popular item used by fraudsters in a data breach, information such as online banking login, user name and password were and Social Security numbers were also used frequently to commit fraud."


"This past year was one where there were both successes and setbacks for consumers, institutions and fraudsters," Javelin CEO Jim Van Dyke said in a statement. "Consumers and institutions are now starting to act as partners -- detecting and stopping fraud faster than ever before. But fraudsters are acting quicker than ever before and victimizing more consumers. Consumers must take data breach notifications more seriously and maintain vigilance to safeguard personal information, especially Social Security numbers."