Thursday, March 5, 2009

Fraud affecting the huddled masses

Could not believe the recent Gartner analysis that says that 7.5% of Americans are hit with financial fraud - a good chunk of it due to breach, phishing etc. That is about 22M people, assuming a population of 300M. Thats a lot!

From the article:

"Gartner says financial losses are highest in the case of new-account, credit card and brokerage fraud, with the average cost per incident totaling $1097, $929 and $900, respectively."

The amount of money lost is staggering - if we assume a more conservative number of $500 lost for 22M Americans who have been defrauded - that's a total loss of $11B in 2008!

But wait, there's more -

"Victims of brokerage, credit card and debit card account fraud find it easiest to recover their losses, receiving an average of 100%, 86% and 77% of the funds stolen, respectively."

These defrauded customers get back their money - and the banks have to pay for these losses! (well, they get it back from the customers with increased fines and interest).

I guess the point I am making is - the losses are real, the pain is real. We need to work to reduce these losses and fraud.

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