Synthetic ID Fraud is Slowing—For Some

Synthetic ID Fraud is Slowing—For Some

October 10, 2019

Synthetic fraud and outstanding balances for suspected synthetic accounts have slowed or declined in several industries over the last year, according to new information from TransUnion.

The data found total synthetic fraud balances rose marginally to $1.02 billion in Q2 2019 from $1.01 billion in Q2 2018 in auto, credit card, retail credit card and personal loans. Synthetic fraud occurs when criminals create fictitious identities by piecing together real identity attributes that are usually stolen and fake information to open fraudulent accounts. Synthetic fraud previously spiked from $524.5 million in Q2 2015 to $854.4 million in Q2 2016, according to TransUnion data. Now it appears things have slowed in those kinds of accounts. The report did not cover ATO attacks targeting retail online accounts or payment alternatives such as PayPal.

“Growth has at least flattened,” said Greg Pierson, CEO of iovation, a TransUnion subsidiary in an interview in Forbes. TransUnion acquired iovation last year in order to integrate their device identity and consumer authentication capabilities into IDVision, TransUnion’s suite of innovative fraud and identity solutions.

TransUnion also found that as of Q2 2019, Windows and Android have the highest percentage of suspected fraudulent transactions at 0.78 percent and 0.73 percent respectively. iOS at 0.56 percent and Mac at 0.54 follow the other operating systems.


Synthetic ID Fraud


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Joan Goodchild

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