2016 Trends: What to Expect for Identity Theft and Fraud

Each year, a new set of trends comes to fruition. In 2016, a whole new set of identity theft trends are expected. People should be aware of these expectations so they can keep themselves safe and out of financial trouble.

Annual Privacy XChange Forum

The Privacy XChange Forum is held annually. The third event just occurred, where details of 2016 trends were discussed. In terms of identity theft, some of the top speakers and businessmen had a lot to say on the matter. The Identity Theft Resource Center had its CEO and president speaking on the panel. Eva Velasquez worked alongside Alex Cameron, Jason Thomas, Brian Thornton, and Jared Wilbur, all of whom are presidents, partners, and chiefs of their respective businesses. Each indicated that a higher level of security is needed, as 2015 saw some major cyber security hacks with OPM, Ashley Madison, and Sony among some of the largest targets. These trends are only expected to get worse as the new year comes around.

Full Data Breaches

2015 saw several full data breaches. 2016 will be no different. The trend is no longer stealing credit card numbers and basic information. Now, full data breaches are underway. This means people can have their complete history of information stolen and used against them. The background investigation records from the Office of Personnel Management were breached, meaning millions of federal employees and previous workers who had background investigations conducted on them had their data stolen. Criminals now have access to intimate details of these people’s lives. Most files even had fingerprints associated with them.

Transactional Data

A new trend in fraud and identity theft is looking at complete transactional data. The times people make online purchases, the types of purchases completed most often, and the places commonly bought from are all included in this data. Rather than criminals making lavish purchases at random locations, they will stick to the data and make similar purchases to each person’s usual routine. This will keep red flags from raising and make it more difficult to determine which purchases are truly fraudulent.


Low men on the totem pole are no longer the focus. Criminals are now focusing on high-end managers,  business owners, and officials that have more to lose. By gaining access to information about their children, mental health, and medical history, these criminals can extort higher-ups for money. The data is being used against people, rather than as a way to steal their identity.

With so much of people’s data located online through various databases and servers, security companies and professionals need to be aware of the upcoming trends so they can begin implementing practices that will help avoid them. Criminals are no longer stealing basic identity information. Now, they are becoming smarter about their movements and tracking data closely to determine their best route of action. Companies need to be ready for these offenders and put measures in place to stop them.

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