After doubling between 2019 and 2020, reports of identity theft continued to grow in 2021 with nearly 1.7 million people being impacted. 2021 was one of the most eventful years on record for identity theft and credit card fraud.
Key findings related to financial crimes:
- There were 1,686,121 reports of identity theft in 2021.
- Government documents or benefits fraud was the most common type of identity theft in 2021.
- Those aged 30 to 39 reported the most cases of identity theft.
- Rhode Island, Kansas, and Illinois were the top three states for identity theft per capita.
- Credit card fraud declined by 1% from 2020 levels, with 389,845 reports.
- There were 1,862 data breaches in 2021, a 68% increase from 2020 and an all-time high.
The Maple Shade Police Department in NJ partnered with the Cinnaminson Police Department to successfully solve a financial card crime using the ERAD Financial Crimes Intelligence System (ERAD-FCIS). Detective Diego Alvarez of the Maple Shade PD worked with Geoffrey Chiumento of the Cinnaminson PD on this investigation. Detective Alvarez was assigned to a credit card fraud investigation where a suspect made four fraudulent purchases for diesel fuel at a popular gas station.
Station staff reported that the suspect and vehicle were on location and had purchased diesel fuel using a fraudulent credit card. Police arrived and were able to intercept the suspect. When questioned, the suspect denied any wrongdoing. He claimed that he purchased the fuel with a gift card that was discarded before the Police arrived. Upon further inquiry, Police found a fuel port with a hose line leading to the vehicle’s bed where they found a fabricated compartment filled with fuel.
The suspect was taken into custody, and the vehicle was impounded for further investigation. Once a search warrant for the vehicle was generated and approved, a thorough inspection was conducted. Inside the cab, hidden behind the firewall, were 117 gift cards from various banks and merchants. Detective Chiumento used ERAD-FCIS to identify the stolen card information stored on the magnetic stripes and created the necessary reports needed to document the forgery and charge the suspect with additional charges.