Security Newswire

Fraud Rings Rampant in Southeast U.S.

10,000 Fraud Groups Across the U.S. Mark Trend in Identity Theft

There are 10,000 active identity theft crime rings across the U.S., with the greatest concentration in a “ring of fraud” that stretches across the Southeast from Virginia to Mississippi, according to a new report from ID Analytics, a fraud-fighting firm.

According to an article from NBC, a majority of these rings are “Friends & Family” groups, not professional crime organizations. The rings are most highly concentrated in Washington, D.C.; Detroit, Tampa, Fla.; Greenville, Miss.; Macon, Georgia; and Montgomery, Ala.

ID Analytics compile the results by examining its massive database of credit applications and other identity “risk events,” which now includes 1.7 billion entries, the article says.

The firm defined a “crime ring” as two or more individuals working in concern, repeatedly submitting fraudulent applications in an attempt to commit fraud. Collusion was detected by noting when multiple members of the rings used similar personal identifying information, such as Social Security numbers, in fraud attempts, NBC reports. While not every fraudulent application is successful, the attempts indicate an active fraudster at work.

The results from these crime rings are overwhelming – one four-person group near Indianapolis has submitted 345 fraudulent credit card applications. Another six-member ring has completed more than 69 applications and defrauded four victims, including two deceased persons, the article says.

Some children in groups are stealing their own parents’ identities. More than half of the rings include multiple family members.

ID Analytics head researcher Stephen Coggeshall says he excluded family groups who might be sharing identities to simply avoid bad credit histories.

“Every one of the (10,000) is committing fraud with the intent to not pay,” he says, and they do it at least 10 times, NBC reports.

The report also notes that while numerous studies have shown that the rate of identity theft is higher in urban areas, this study indicates that the number of crime rings is much higher in rural areas.

One possible explanation: Identity theft and methamphetamine crime rings often go together, with meth addicts trading stolen mail and credit card applications for drugs. However, the report has no ready explanation for the fraud ring trend for rural areas. 

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Security Magazine. 

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

ASIS 2013 Product Preview

ASIS International 59th Annual Seminar and Exhibits, September 24-27 in Chicago, Illinois, will include an exhibit hall packed with innovative security solutions. Here are some of the products that will be shown at ASIS this year.


Virtualization and Data Center Security: What You Need to Know for 2014

Data centers are increasingly becoming the center of the enterprise, and data center and cyber security is following the same path for security departments. According to Justin Flynn, a consultant at the Burwood Group, the virtualization of data centers allows enterprises to scale more easily and faster, with a smaller footprint.

However, hosting enterprise data in the cloud can make intrusion detection more difficult – how can enterprise security leaders team up with other departments to keep aware of cyber risks and traffic, and physical and data compliance during the virtual transition? How can CISOs and CSOs discuss cyber threats with the C-Suite to get the resources they need? And how can the proper infrastructure test and verify possible malicious attacks? 

More Podcasts

Security Magazine

Security May 2015 Issue cover

2015 May

In the May 2015 issue of Security, learn how to be the bridge between busieness and security with "customer facing," how to effectively work with your CFO, and covert security.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Body Cameras on Security Officers

Body cameras are being used increasingly by police in cities across the U.S. Will you arm your security officers with a body camera?
View Results Poll Archive


Effective Security Management, 5th Edition.jpg
Effective Security Management, 5th Edition

 Effective Security Management, 5e, teaches practicing security professionals how to build their careers by mastering the fundamentals of good management. Charles Sennewald brings a time-tested blend of common sense, wisdom, and humor to this bestselling introduction to workplace dynamics. 

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Facebook 40px 2-12-13 Twitter logo 40px 2-12-13  YouTube  LinkedIn logo 40px 2-12-13Google+

Vertical Sector Focus: Critical Infrastructures

criticalhomepagethumbFrom terrorism to vandalism, it’s preparedness, response, training and partnerships. Learn about some of the critical security issues facing this sector.

Visit the Critical Infrastructure page to read more.