Synthetic identity fraud was analyzed in a recent report by TransUnion. Synthetic fraud is the use of personally identifiable information (PII) to fabricate a person or entity in order to commit a dishonest act for personal or financial gain.

In the first half of 2023, U.S. auto lenders saw an increase in total synthetic identity exposure, reaching $1.8 billion. This represents a 38% rise year-over-year (YoY) and marks the second consecutive year of increased exposure in the auto finance industry.

In the first half of 2023, the retail and video gaming industries saw the highest rates of suspected digital fraud globally at 10.6% and 7.0%, respectively, followed by telecommunications at 5.3%. Globally, insurance and logistics were the industries with the lowest suspected digital fraud attempt rate in H1 2023. Among all industries, the suspected digital fraud rate stood at 5.3%, up from 4.5% one year ago. 

When the consumer is located in the U.S. during the transaction, gaming had the highest suspected digital fraud attempt rate in H1 2023 at 10.2%. However, the number of digital transactions coming from the U.S. in that industry dropped when comparing H1 2022 to H1 2023 (down 18.5% YoY), potentially blunting the impact to an extent. And while insurance saw a 61.2% increase in U.S. digital transactions YoY, the suspected digital fraud rate remained relatively low at less than one percent. 

Results showed that primary breaches increased 5% over the first half of 2023 as opposed to the same period in 2022. This stands in comparison to third-party breaches, in which a business network is attacked via third-party vendors or suppliers, which declined YoY in H1 2023.

While a person’s name continues to be the most exposed individual credential, a Social Security Number has passed date of birth as the second most often exposed individual credential in breaches in the first half of 2023. Social Security Numbers were exposed in 69% of breaches, up from 60% last year. Driver’s licenses or other state identification information were exposed in 31% in the first half of 2023, more than double last year’s 14% mark. Checking or savings account numbers also saw their exposure double year-over-year.

Read the full report here.