COVID-19 , Digital Identity , Fraud Management & Cybercrime

Identity Theft: Impact on Victims Is Getting Worse

ITRC's Eva Velasquez on Reducing ID Fraud and Increasing Victim Resources
Eva Velasquez, president and CEO, Identity Theft Resource Center

The Identity Theft Resource Center, a nationally recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity crime, has published research that shows nearly 30% of people who contact the ITRC are victims of more than one identity crime.

See Also: Global State of Identities: Optimizing Identity Proofing

The ITRC 2021 Consumer Aftermath Report includes a special focus on victims of pandemic-related identity fraud, including 33% who did not have enough money to buy food or pay for utilities, 40% who were unable to pay their routine bills and 14% who were evicted for nonpayment of rent or mortgage.

Both fraud rates and the trauma that victims experience continue to increase, says Eva Velasquez, the president and CEO of the ITRC. “The one thing that isn't increasing are the resources that we're providing to victims,” she adds.

To tackle the problem, Velasquez would like “to see industry step up efforts with multifactor authentication.” She also recommends the creation of more uniform processes, similar to the credit freeze, “where people can create an account, lock it down and freeze it so that even if someone does have access to your identity credentials, they still will not be able to use them.”

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group, Velasquez discusses:

  • Key takeaways from the ITRC 2021 Consumer Aftermath Report;
  • Why identity theft is increasing and current barriers to resolving the situation;
  • Action steps security leaders and government officials can take to help reduce identity theft and increase support for victims.

Velasquez is the president and CEO at the Identity Theft Resource Center. She previously served as the vice president of operations for the San Diego Better Business Bureau and spent 21 years at the San Diego District Attorney’s Office. She is a recipient of the National Crime Victim Service Award from the Department of Justice and the Office for Victims of Crime and the Florence Kelley Consumer Leadership Award from the National Consumers League.

About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, ISMG Productions

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.

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