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Studies have shown a staggering 1,291 data breaches till the end of September this year, exceeding the 1,108 total breaches reported in 2020.
With the approaching holiday season, experts have predicted a further spike in identity theft and data breaches, with losses expected to reach a shocking $721.3 billion by the end of this year.
If these predictions turn out to be true, the total losses to identity theft will also surpass 2020’s amount of $712.4 billion. Experts say that 2021 will set a new record for the highest number of data breaches, crossing the all-time high of 1,529 recorded in 2017.
One of the reasons for these data breaches is said to be fake retail sites. In the upcoming holiday season, people will search for high-demand products through online shopping platforms when they sell out at real stores.
Online shopping platforms considerably elevate the risks of identity theft, as criminals find new ways to manipulate transactions. Experts say that the bad actors have also created e-commerce websites that appear to be legitimate and are actually meant to steal customers’ credit card information.
The holiday season is expected to contribute to a shocking 2,000 percent rise in fake website scams. Due to this, experts are advising customers to shop at trusted stores only, while also looking out for red flags like websites that do not accept credit cards.
Another scam comes in the form of fake job postings, which have reportedly targeted almost 14 million Americans. In these kinds of scams, fraudsters aim to steal unemployment benefits by asking for the validation of personal information in the form of a social security number or passport.
To avoid becoming victims of identity fraud, Shufti Pro suggests customers stay vigilant in situations where disclosure of personal information is required. For online job scams, website domains must be cross-checked with company domains, and personal information must never be disclosed through a phone call.
Suggested read: ID Theft to Drive Majority of the Online Payment Frauds in 2021