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Frankenstein Fraud: How Synthetic Identities Became the Fastest-Growing Fraud Trend

May-2021-CoverMay/June 2021 | COVER STORY

Synthetic identity fraud is not new. It’s a fraud trend that has been around for decades that was often carried out in person before shifting to take advantage of the Internet. And it has grown rapidly in the 21st century. Recent research from Aite Group, sponsored by consumer credit reporting agency TransUnion, found that synthetic identity fraud for unsecured U.S. credit products totaled $1.8 billion in 2020 and will grow to $2.42 billion in 2023.

     And while the cost this fraud poses to organizations, financial institutions, and individual victims is high, it also has major ramifications for national security as officials struggle to detect fraud and hold criminals accountable for it.

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