In the United States, identity theft plagues state-assisted COVID-19 victims

Mathilde Rochefort

June 11, 2022 at 2 p.m.


cybersecurity hacking

The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a US-based NGO providing assistance to victims of fraud or identity theft, and LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a data and analytics company, have released a disturbing report on identity fraud. identity related to state aid benefits for victims of Covid-19.

In the United States, some people who are direct or indirect victims of the pandemic have been entitled to state aid. To do this, they had to make an online request directly to the services concerned… Cybercriminals saw this as an opportunity to make easy money.

The pandemic has caused cybercrime to skyrocket

To carry out their study, the two entities interviewed more than 1,800 victims of identity theft. Since 2020, 42% of pandemic benefit claimants reported experiencing identity theft that resulted in them being denied benefits or receiving benefits in their name when they were not had not requested it. In 24% of cases, the problem took between six months and a year to be resolved, while 8% of victims in 2021 said that their situation was not yet fixed in April 2022.

We speak with victims of identity theft every day at IRTC. However, over the past two years, we have seen the volume and velocity of identity fraud on an unprecedented scale. This report shows the scale of fraud and gives us a roadmap to avoid similar massive fraud moves while respecting consumer privacy. », declared Eva Velasquez, President and CEO of the NGO.

The US benefit system has struggled to keep pace

The pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on government delivery systems said Haywood Talcove, CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a pressure that has obviously led to significant errors exploited by cybercriminals, although the government has tried to react. 59% of government organizations said they had modernized their technology since 1er January 2020.

While 31% added steps to their identity verification process, 13% implemented new tools, and 5% moved to an automated identity verification system. Finally, 3% of organizations called on a new supplier. However, 71% of those who made changes to their identity verification process saw no change in the rate of accepting or rejecting benefits.

Americans are reluctant to give their personal data to the authorities

Furthermore, the report lifted the veil on the relationship of many Americans with their personal data: while 16% of those questioned expressed no qualms about providing all the information requested by the authorities to obtain their benefits, the other respondents revealed varying levels of concern. 48% said they feared their personal information would be exposed due to a security breach.

In particular, they cited employee misuse, government surveillance, profiling and identity confusion as important concerns to justify their choice.

On the same subject :
According to a report, the COVID-19 pandemic has not caused the French to turn to the use of biometric data

Source : Help Net Security

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