You are reading: Document Fraud Statistics To Know For 2024
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In today’s digital age, living a double life is easier than ever. Scammers are using their skills to make money from your hard-earned dollars, whether through credit card fraud, identity theft, or phony rental applications. The worst part is that they get better and better at it every day.
Don’t worry! This isn’t a “how to get away with it” guide. We’re here to reveal the truth behind document fraud, what it is, how it happens, and how to stop it in its tracks. Whether you’re running a business or just tired of feeling like a sitting duck, we’ve got all the tips and tricks to help keep your life and assets safe.
Identity Theft Statistics
This kind of theft can happen for various reasons, but the primary motivation is financial gain. By stealing someone’s identity, fraudsters gain access to personal information, such as social security numbers or credit card details, that they can use to open accounts or make purchases in the victim’s name.
They can also use this information to apply for loans or credit cards, leaving the victim with a pile of debt. Some steal identities for non-financial reasons, like evading law enforcement or hiding their own identities. Whatever the motivation, identity theft can have devastating consequences for victims.
Identity theft has been a problem for decades. As technology advances, so do the capabilities of scammers looking to steal your identity.
According to recent data:
- In 2021, the FTC received 5.7 million total fraud reports, 1.4 million of which were identity theft cases
- Government Documents or Benefits Fraud tops the list of identity theft types (395,948 total reported cases)
- The median loss of fraud cases for victims is about $500
- Total losses are estimated to be around $10.2 billion
- Roughly 33% of Americans have experienced some type of identity theft
The states with the highest rates of identity theft were:
- Rhode Island
Identity theft doesn’t just affect people’s accounts and livelihoods; it also takes an emotional toll. 84% felt worried or anxious after their experience, 76% felt angry, and 76% felt violated. Stealing someone’s identity is a personal attack that often leaves people wondering why it happened to them and how they could have been fooled.
Being online all the time has sadly made it even easier for fraudsters to deceive us. Most identity thieves attempt to scam people via a phone call, a text message, or an email. You might not even think twice about handing over your information.
If it looks like identity theft has come knocking at your door, don’t panic. Here’s what you need to do:
- Submit a claim to the Federal Trade Commission’s website or call their toll-free hotline at 877-438-4338
- Implement a fraud alert or security freeze on your credit reports
- Inform your financial institution and other relevant parties. Let them know if fraudulent accounts have been created in your name
- Alert any existing lenders and banks so they know to look for signs of additional theft
- Review all your bank account documentation in the days, weeks, and months after any sign of fraud or identity theft. Review bank statements for unfamiliar transactions and consider using a credit monitoring service to detect unauthorized access to your credit reports.
Credit Card Fraud Statistics
Ah, credit card fraud. We’ve all heard of it; we all fear it. With 1 billion credit cards being used throughout America, it’s no wonder this is a go-to scamming method for con artists. Credit card fraud has been the most common type of identity theft for years and is expected to rise as more and more people rely on online banking and shopping.
Recent findings show:
- 65% of credit card holders have been fraud victims at some point in their lives
- In 2022, 44% of credit card users reported having two or more fraudulent charges
- The median charge was $62
- Since 2021, the median fraudulent charge has climbed by 27%
- Roughly 40% of credit card holders do not have email or text alerts from their credit card company or bank. Around 81% of victims without these notifications had to take additional action to reverse fraudulent charges, compared to just 19% of those with alerts enabled.
Something to remember while looking at this data is that not everyone reports fraud to the police. In fact, only 10% of victims file an official report. They may feel that it’s not worth reporting if it’s under $100 or that the police may be unable to do anything about it.
There are a few different types of credit theft, including:
- Card-not-present fraud: Someone uses your credit card information, but not your physical card, to carry out an unauthorized transaction online or over the phone
- Skimming: This happens when people illegally place devices on ATMs, point-of-sale terminals, or gas pumps to steal card numbers and PINs
- Account theft: This occurs when someone assumes ownership of someone else’s online account with a stolen username or password
- Phishing: Enables fraudsters to steal your information, such as passwords or account numbers, through electronic communication. They can then gain access to your credit card, bank, and email accounts
- Lost or stolen credit cards: If you lose your physical card or it’s stolen, someone else can use it to make unauthorized transactions
Credit card fraud can be a costly and frustrating experience for both the victim and the credit card issuer or bank. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Firstly, monitoring your credit card transactions is essential when identifying unauthorized charges. Review your monthly bank statement or frequently check your mobile banking app to monitor your transactions.
Secondly, never share your credit card information with anyone, especially over the phone, via text messages, or email. Legitimate businesses will never ask for your full credit card details, so be careful if you are requested to provide this information.
Thirdly, be wary of unsolicited emails or phone calls asking for personal and financial information – they are more than likely a scam. Use secure websites or payment systems when making online purchases, and always log out of your account when finished.
Rental Application Fraud Statistics
While most people have heard of identity theft and credit card fraud, not everyone knows the emerging trend of rental application fraud. Scammers have now infiltrated the rental property industry, intending to get into properties they aren’t qualified for.
Rental application fraud has spiked in recent years due to a few factors. For one, living in the digital age has made it extremely easy to edit these documents. Secondly, the COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of financial strain on tenants nationwide. Many needed a home but were laid off or furloughed. These circumstances can make people desperate.
As a result, document fraud in the rental industry has skyrocketed. Altered bank statements and pay stubs are more common than ever, leaving property managers worried about how to combat this problem.
These fake documents are almost invisible to the naked eye. A simple tweak in the code or in Photoshop results in a big change: their annual salary goes from a mere $50,000 to a whopping $150,000. Ta-da! You now have a potentially high-risk tenant in your property. Here are some shocking tenant fraud statistics:
- An applicant with a fake document is 7x more likely to end in eviction or incur any bad debt
- 1 in 8 rental (12%) applications contains some type of fraud
- 85% of property managers have experienced application fraud, which accounts for an estimated 25% of evictions
- A typical eviction costs $7,685 after unpaid rent, legal fees, and other charges are taken into account
When we asked property managers why they think rental application fraud is on the rise, they said:
- 85% said the ease with which false documents can be obtained online by apartment applicants today
- 78% cited the increase in rents – and the pressure it puts on prospects to “stretch” on their applications
- 70% said the COVID-19 pandemic was a significant driver
This type of fraud likely won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Here’s what you can do to help prevent it from happening to you:
- Request multiple forms of identification, such as a driver’s license or a passport
- Conduct thorough background checks and check for any criminal history (in states where it’s legal)
- Confirm employment and income information through direct contact with the employer
- Check previous rental references to verify their rental history and character references
- Use online tenant screening platforms to detect any inconsistencies or red flags within applicant information
- Stay up-to-date on fair housing laws and regulations to ensure non-discriminatory screening processes are in place
If only there were a program you could use to prevent these false rental applications from slipping through the cracks…oh wait, there is! Snappt’s fraud detection software is designed to catch those altered documents so that you can stop high-risk tenants from entering your property. Schedule a free demo or visit our website to learn more about how Snappt integrates into your leasing process.
To Sum Up…
Living online can make it all too easy for scammers to get their hands on your personal information. But by slowing down and taking proactive steps, you can protect yourself and your rental properties from fraud.