– The report shows payment app fraud and the theft of personal documents increasing along with the rise of AI voice cloning scams –
Temecula, CA, June 27, 2023 – IDIQ®, a leader in identity theft protection and credit monitoring featuring the flagship IdentityIQ® brand, today released a proprietary report reviewing identity theft trends from last year as well as the newest scams on the rise, the IdentityIQ 2022 Scam Report.
This report explores key findings based on IdentityIQ member-reported data and found significant jumps in two major types of scams: peer-to-peer payment apps utilizing platforms such as Cash App, Zelle and Venmo, surging more than 58%, and scams stemming from the theft of personal documents, increasing by 44%. The report compares member-reported data from 2022 to the previous year.
The report also highlights the rise of AI voice scams as a significant trend in 2023. AI voice technology enables scammers to create remarkably realistic voices and convincingly imitate family members, friends and other trusted individuals.
“AI voice cloning scams are the scariest thing I have seen in the last 20 years,” said Scott Hermann, CEO of IDIQ and a cybersecurity and financial expert.
Hermann said, with just a short voice clip usually taken from social media, a scammer can clone a loved one’s voice and call a victim pretending to be that person. The scammer deceives the victim into thinking their loved one is in distress to get them to send money, provide personal information or perform other actions.
“AI voice technology has gotten to the point where a mother can’t tell the difference between her child’s voice and a machine – and scammers have pounced on this in order to commit crimes,” he said.
The report shares ways the public can help protect themselves from these scams, including:
- Being cautious of unsolicited offers, requests, and calls
- Always verifying identities, including having a family “password”
- Using strong cybersecurity practices, including unique passwords, multi-factor authentication and VPN
- Protecting and monitoring personal information
- Educating themselves on the latest scams and trends as new scams continue to arise.
Scammers are also taking advantage of peer-to-peer payment platforms lack of protection, convenience and limited refund policies to steal from victims as part of Cash App, Zelle and Venmo scams. Fraudsters use the lure of a cuddly puppy in pet deposit scams or offer to help invest and “flip” money with huge returns in cash flipping scams. Being aware of these scams – and never sending money through these apps as a deposit to someone you don’t know – helps consumers avoid fraud.
The report indicates that, while online threats are increasing, consumers must continue to protect their personal information that can be found offline as well.
“While consumers should be concerned about their online presence, they shouldn’t overlook data vulnerabilities presented by paper documents,” Hermann said.
As for the offline threats, mail theft, lost or stolen wallets and “shoulder surfing,” in which a scammer peers at documents with personal information unbeknownst to the victim, were the most prevalent forms of personal document fraud.
“We hope the information from the report keeps the public aware of and safe from the biggest scams we are seeing today,” Hermann said. “As new trends emerge, we will continue to help consumers protect themselves and their families.”
This is the second report focusing on identity theft trends that IDIQ, through its IdentityIQ brand, has released this year. In May, IDIQ joined the Identity Theft Resource Center, a nationally-recognized nonprofit organization established to support victims of identity, to release the 2022 Trends in Identity Report.
For more information or to download the IdentityIQ 2022 Scam Report, visit www.identityiq.com/2022-scam-report/.
IDIQ® is recognized as one of the fastest-growing industry leaders in identity theft protection and credit report monitoring. With the flagship IdentityIQ® brand, the company delivers real-time alerts and credit report information to not only protect but also educate consumers and businesses. The company features 100% U.S.-based customer service and support. For more information, visit www.IDIQ.com.