Throughout the past year, IDIQ®, a leading financial intelligence company, tracked the trends in identity theft and related scams through reports from its IdentityIQ brand. The data uncovered a sharp increase in identity theft incidents, setting new records for fraudulent activities.

Let’s explore key statistics and trends as reported in the IdentityIQ 2023 Scam Report with Predictions for 2024.

Record-Breaking Numbers

  • Identity theft restoration cases surged by a staggering 62% in 2023, correlating with a notable rise in data breaches that reached a record high last year.
  • Spear phishing scams, targeting specific individuals, witnessed an alarming 150% increase.
  • Utility fraud, involving stolen identities or impersonation of utility companies, also saw a significant uptick of 50%.

Download the 2023 IdentityIQ Scam Report Today!

2023 IdentityIQ Scam Report Cover Image

Identity Theft Trends

The Rise of AI-Powered Scams

As 2024 continues, AI-powered scams are poised to pose a major threat, leveraging sophisticated technology to deceive victims. These scams include:

  • Deepfakes: These manipulate videos and audio to impersonate individuals, such as loved ones or authority figures.
  • AI-Generated Voice Phishing: This technology replicates real voices for convincing scams.
  • AI-Powered Chatbots: These are designed to trick victims into revealing personal information.
  • Robocalls with AI Technology: These enable personalized spam calls.

AI allows scammers to bypass traditional security measures and target victims with an unsettling level of personalization. One of the primary weapons in this arsenal is the rise of AI-powered phishing attacks. These attacks leverage real-time data mining to gather information about potential victims. Social media profiles, online browsing history, and even public records can be scraped to build a comprehensive picture of an individual’s life.

Armed with this data, scammers can craft emails and phone calls that appear frighteningly genuine. Imagine receiving a voicemail that sounds exactly like your boss, urgently requesting you to wire money for a critical business deal.

The ability to mimic voices with such accuracy, thanks to deepfake technology, adds another layer of deception.

Deepfakes are a form of AI that can manipulate audio and video recordings to create realistic but fabricated scenarios.  In the hands of a scammer, this technology can be used to impersonate CEOs, government officials, or even loved ones in distress. A deepfake video of your child pleading for help with bail money could trigger an emotional response that clouds judgment and leads to rash decisions.

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing scams skyrocketed by a troubling 150% in 2023.  These targeted attacks involve criminals impersonating well-known companies, such as Microsoft or Chase, to trick victims into revealing account credentials and other sensitive information.

Utility Fraud

Utility scams are surging, with a 50% increase reported in 2023. Criminals target unsuspecting victims through two main methods – identity theft and impersonation.

In identity theft scams, stolen personal information is used to open utility accounts in the victim’s name, leaving them with unexpected bills and a potential negative impact on their credit score.

Imposter scams involve criminals posing as utility company representatives, pressuring victims into divulging personal details, making immediate payments through odd methods, or granting access to their property.

How to Help Protect Yourself Against Identity Theft

The threats continue to evolve. AI scams are expected to become even more prevalent, posing significant challenges for individuals and businesses alike.

Amidst these challenges, there are steps individuals can take to help protect their personal information and finances:

  • Exercise caution with unexpected emails, attachments, and links.
  • Verify the source before sharing personal information.
  • Stay informed about emerging scam tactics and AI technology.
  • Utilize IdentityIQ identity theft protection services for proactive monitoring and real-time alerts.