While data breaches are down, a single ransomware attack at Blackbaud exposed information from at least 247 organizations that have issued their own breach notices 

SAN DIEGO, October 14, 2020 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, released its U.S. data breach findings for the third quarter of 2020. 

According to the data breach analysis, publicly-reported U.S. data breaches have dropped 30 percent year-to-date compared to 2019. More than 292 million individuals have had their identities compromised so far in 2020, a 60 percent drop from 2019. Mass data breaches of personal information continue to decline while cyberattacks are up as threat actors focus on ransomware, phishing, and brute force attacks that use already available identity information to steal company funds and COVID-19 related government benefits. 

Despite the encouraging data breach numbers, a single ransomware attack at Blackbaud exposed information from at least 247 organizations that have issued their own breach notices as of September 30, 2020

Cyberattacks were the primary cause of data compromises reported in Q3 2020, with phishing and ransomware attacks the most common attack vectors. However, viewing Blackbaud as a series of attacks and not a single event, supply chain attacks were the most common exploit.

Download the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2020 Third-Quarter Data Breach Analysis and Key Takeaways 

“It is encouraging to see the number of data breaches continue to decline in 2020,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “If data breaches continue at this pace for the remainder of 2020, we could see our lowest number of breaches since 2015.” 

While data breaches are dropping, the Blackbaud data breach has skewed the numbers significantly. Of the 247 organizations to issue breach notices to their customers, only 58 have disclosed the number of individuals impacted by the breach – 6,981,091. If the Blackbaud data breach is treated as a series of events, data breaches have only decreased by 10 percent compared to 2019.  

“If anyone gets a breach notice connected to the Blackbaud data breach, they should act immediately because their information could still be available,” Velasquez said. “Whenever someone receives a breach notice, they need to act quickly and decisively because of the risks that come with personal information being exposed.” 

For more information about recent data breaches, or any of the data breaches discussed in Q3, consumers and businesses should visit the ITRC’s new data breach tracking tool, notifiedTM. It is updated daily and free to consumers. Organizations that need comprehensive breach information for business planning or due diligence can access as many as 90 data points through one of the three paid notified subscriptions. Subscriptions help ensure the ITRC’s identity crime services stay free. 

For consumers who have been victims of a data breach, the ITRC recommends downloading its free ID Theft Help app to manage the various aspects of an individual’s data breach case. 

Anyone can receive free support and guidance from a knowledgeable live-advisor by calling 888.400.5530 or visiting www.idtheftcenter.org to live-chat. 

About the Identity Theft Resource Center® 

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live-chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: https://www.idtheftcenter.org

Media Contact 

Identity Theft Resource Center 
Alex Achten  
Earned & Owned Media Specialist 
888.400.5530 Ext. 3611 
media@idtheftcenter.org  

This year’s initiatives highlight the importance of individuals and organizations taking actions to protect their part of cyberspace in an increasingly connected world 

SAN DIEGO, October 2, 2020 – The Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, has joined the growing global effort to promote awareness of online safety and privacy as part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM) during October. CSAM is a collaborative effort among organizations and individuals to promote this year’s CSAM theme of ‘Do Your Part. #BeCyberSmart.’ The month aims to empower individuals and organizations to own their role in protecting their part of cyberspace. 

“Cybersecurity is a critical issue that impacts consumers, businesses and institutions every day,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “The online safety and privacy of all stakeholders is important. It’s why we are committed to helping people at home and work develop good  cyber hygiene habits, and be cyber smart.” 

The ITRC will take part in the following activities for CSAM: 

To kick off CSAM, NCSA and the ITRC are hosting a Twitter chat on Thursday, October 8 at 11:00 a.m. PST to discuss cyber hygiene best practices, resources and much more. Use #BeCyberSmart in your tweet to join the conversation. 

NCSA and the ITRC are publishing a co-authored blog on the impact of data breaches and cyberattacks on small-to-medium-size businesses and their employees. The blog will be released on October 15. 

The ITRC is participating in a panel hosted by the Cybercrime Support Network to discuss cybersecurity for retirement professionals. The event will take place on October 28 at 8:30 a.m. PST. 

The ITRC is releasing its data breach information for the third quarter of 2020. We are also promoting new data breach tracking tool, notifiedTMNotified is free to consumers and has as many as 90 data points for organizations that need comprehensive breach information for business planning or due diligence. 

Check out ITRC’s newest podcasts, “The Fraudian Slip” (monthly), which takes an in-depth look at topics like child identity theft, application fraud and more, as well as the “Weekly Breach Breakdown” (weekly), covering the latest data compromises from the previous week and other news in cybersecurity. 

The ITRC will launch a beta version of ViViAN, the organization’s artificial intelligence chatbot, to provide initial assistance and after-hours victim support. 

The ITRC is releasing new Help Center resources for victims of identity crime. The resources will help victims in their resolution process. 

Now in its 17th year, CSAM continues to build momentum and impact with the ultimate goal of providing everyone with the information they need to stay safer and more secure online. The ITRC is proud to support this far-reaching online safety awareness and education initiative, which is co-led by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

“Cybersecurity is important to the success of all businesses and organizations. NCSA is proud to have such a strong and active community helping to encourage proactive behavior and prioritize cybersecurity in their organizations,” said Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, NCSA. 

For more information about CSAM 2020 and how to participate in a wide variety of activities, visit staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/. You can also follow and use the official hashtag #BeCyberSmart on social media throughout the month. 

About the Identity Theft Resource Center 

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live-chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: https://www.idtheftcenter.org 

About Cybersecurity Awareness Month 

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public- and private-sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity to increase the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. Since the Presidential proclamation establishing Cybersecurity Awareness Month in 2004, the initiative has been formally recognized by Congress, federal, state and local governments and leaders from industry and academia. This united effort is necessary to maintain a cyberspace that is safer and more resilient and remains a source of tremendous opportunity and growth for years to come. For more information, visit staysafeonline.org/cybersecurity-awareness-month/  

About NCSA 

NCSA is the Nation’s leading non-profit, public-private partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness. NCSA works with a broad array of stakeholders in government, industry and civil society. NCSA’s primary partners are the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and NCSA’s Board of Directors, which includes representatives from ADP; AIG; American Express; Bank of America; Cofense; Comcast Corporation; Eli Lilly and Company; ESET North America; Facebook; Intel Corporation; Lenovo; LogMeIn; Marriott International; Mastercard; MediaPro; Microsoft Corporation; Mimecast; KnowBe4; NortonLifeLock; Proofpoint; Raytheon; Trend Micro, Inc.; Uber: U.S. Bank; Visa and Wells Fargo. NCSA’s core efforts include Cybersecurity 

MEDIA CONTACT 

Identity Theft Resource Center 

Alex Achten 

Earned & Owned Media Specialist  

888.400.5530 Ext. 3611 

media@idtheftcenter.org  

The ITRC and local ID theft assistance coalitions will host a phone bank Sept. 28-30 toll-free at 888.400.5530 for victims of COVID-19-related scams and identity crime

SAN DIEGO, September 28, 2020 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crimes, is kicking off a three-day phone bank to help victims of COVID-19 scams and identity crimes.

Some COVID-19-related scam and identity crime topics the ITRC will focus on during the phone bank include:

  • Unemployment benefits identity theft
  • Romance scams
  • Payment platform scams
  • Small Business COVID-19 loan relief scams

 “COVID-19 has created this opportunity for scammers that is unparalleled, said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “This phone bank is a great opportunity for the ITRC to empower and guide the thousands of victims of a scam or identity theft due to COVID-19.”

The phone bank, which will be held September 28-30 from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST, will include participation from the following National Identity Theft Victim Assistance Network (NITVAN) coalitions:

New Mexico Office of the Attorney General (NMOAG), NMOAG Identity Theft Coalition – serving New Mexico, (505) 318-1008 (local) or 888.660.8801

  • Monday 1-5 p.m. EST/10 a.m.-2 p.m. PST
  • Tuesday 9 a.m.-1 p.m. EST/6-10 a.m. PST

The National Cybersecurity Society – serving nationwide, 703.340.7757

  • Monday 11 a.m.-1 p.m. EST, 2-8 p.m. EST/8-10 a.m. PST, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. PST
  • Tuesday 9-11 a.m. EST, 2-8 p.m. EST/6-8 a.m. PST, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. PST
  • Wednesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. EST/ 6 a.m-5 p.m. PST

Vera House, Onondaga County Elder Identity Theft Coalition – serving New York, 315.425.0818 ext. 2219

  • Monday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. EST/7-11 a.m. PST

Texas Council on Family Violence, Texas Coalition on Coerced Debt – serving Texas, 210.880.5424; texascoalitiononcoerceddebt@gmail.com

  • Tuesday 12-2 p.m. CST, 4-6 p.m. CST/10 a.m.-12 p.m. PST, 2-4 p.m. PST

Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Identity Theft Advocacy Network (ITAN) of Colorado – serving Colorado, 303.239.4242

  • Tuesday-Wednesday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. MST/ 7 a.m-3 p.m. PST

Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Finger Lakes (NY) Identity Theft Coalition – Serving New York, 585.287.6371

  • Wednesday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. EST/6-11 a.m. PST

ITRC on behalf of Minnesota Alliance on Crime, Minnesota Identity Theft and Cybercrime Information and Resource Network (MITCIRN) – serving Minnesota, 888.400.5530

  • Monday-Wednesday 8 a.m.-3 p.m. CST/ 6 a.m-5 p.m. PST

ITRC on behalf of Cybercrime Support Network, Cybercrime Support Network of West Michigan – Serving West Michigan, 888.400.5530

  • Monday-Wednesday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. EST/ 6 a.m-5 p.m. PST

Victims of a COVID-19 scam or identity crime can contact the ITRC toll-free at 888.400.5530, or live-chat with an expert advisor on our website https://www.idtheftcenter.org/.

NITVAN was launched in 2010 with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, through the Crime Victims Fund. This unique fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars. The ITRC became the network leader in October 2016. Through the grant project, 11 new coalitions have been established to expand and improve victim assistance services in their respective states or regions. Through the development and enhancement of these coalitions, victim service providers can better address the rights and needs of victims of identity crime.

For additional information on the coalitions, visit http://www.nitvan.org/.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center®

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its contact center, website, social media channels, live-chat feature and I.D. Theft Help app. For more information, visit http://www.idtheftcenter.org.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Identity Theft Resource Center

Alex Achten

Earned & Owned Media Specialist

888.400.5530 Ext. 3611

media@idtheftcenter.org

The NITVAN toolkit builds the capacity of service providers, advocates and allied professionals to better address the rights and needs of identity theft victims via coalition building

SAN DIEGO, September 24, 2020 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, and the National Identity Theft Victims Assistance Network (NITVAN), released it’s 2020 Identity Theft Coalition Building Toolkit. NITVAN seeks to expand and improve the outreach and capacity of victim service programs, funded through a grant awarded to the ITRC by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).

The Identity Theft Coalition Building Toolkit, a culmination of a four-year multi-agency collaboration, is meant to be used as a comprehensive guide in building the capacity of allied professionals, service holders and advocates to help address the rights and needs of victims of identity theft through coalition building. The ITRC hopes the information in the toolkit regarding how to start a coalition, building capacity, resource sharing and sustainability will empower organizations nationwide to collaborate to help identity theft victims.

Download the NITVAN Identity Theft Coalition Building Toolkit

“The ITRC sees the devastating impacts of identity theft on victims every day,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “Identity theft affects people in many different ways, including economically and emotionally. The NITVAN coalitions play a vital role in their respective areas for victims. It is critical that victim service providers nationwide have the resources needed to help identity theft victims and mitigate the harm that is done to them.”

The first version of the NITVAN toolkit was released in December 2019, showcasing resources developed by eight of the coalitions. The 2020 version includes additional resources from three new coalitions.

NITVAN was launched in 2010 with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office for Victims of Crime, through the Crime Victims Fund. This unique fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by convicted federal offenders, not from tax dollars. The ITRC became the network leader in October 2016. Through the grant project, 11 new coalitions have been established to expand and improve victim assistance services in their respective states or regions. Through the development and enhancement of these coalitions, victim service providers can better address the rights and needs of victims of identity crime.

For additional information on the coalitions, visit http://www.nitvan.org/.

The NITVAN toolkit is available for download now.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center®

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its contact center, website, social media channels, live-chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit https://www.idtheftcenter.org.

MEDIA CONTACT

Identity Theft Resource Center

Alex Achten

Earned & Owned Media Specialist

888.400.5530 Ext. 3611

media@idtheftcenter.org

Child Identity Theft Awareness Day is more important in 2020 than ever; parents and industry leaders are encouraged to act now

SAN DIEGO, September 21, 2020 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, and SAS®, the leader in analytics, join forces to promote Child Identity Theft Awareness Day.

The ITRC has received numerous reports of child identity theft in 2020, one of which includes two parents denied COVID-19-related stimulus benefits, leading to the discovery that an identity thief was using their 2-year-old son’s Social Security number. It’s one of many powerful stories heard by the ITRC in its 20-year history, each one illustrating a mostly invisible problem plaguing children of all ages.

According to a 2018 study by Javelin Strategy & Research, more than one million children fell victim to identity theft in 2017, with losses totaling $2.67 billion. The study further determined that more than two-thirds of child victims were ages 7 or younger, while 20 percent were in the range of 8 to 12 years old.

“If I could recommend one action for parents, it would be to freeze your child’s credit,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center.  “The process varies some from credit bureau to credit bureau, but it’s not difficult. I promise it takes far less time and effort to freeze your child’s credit than to remediate a fraud case after the fact.”

How to Fight Child Identity Theft infographic preview by ITRC and SAS

Access the Child Identity Theft infographic here

In 2019, 15.1 billion records – many of them highly sensitive and personal – were exposed through data breaches. The ITRC Data Breach Report documented 2.3 million students’ data exposed in education data breaches in 2019. It is criminals’ commoditization of stolen data that fuels this growing fraud epidemic. Ironically, data is also key to stopping it.

“The data and technology exist to determine digital identity to a greater degree of certainty than ever before,” said Brooke Fortson, ITRC Board Member and Sr. Manager of Global Product Marketing at SAS. “If businesses and organizations leverage it in the right way, they can better protect consumers of all ages – and deliver a better customer experience.”

The ITRC is aware of the vast amount of data available for cybercriminals leading to other child identity theft victims like a 20-year-old college student applying for financial aid learning she had 15 fraudulent credit accounts taken out over 13 years, or even the single mother uncovering a four-year work and earnings history attached to her 12-year-old daughter’s Social Security number.

Parents should take these actions to help safeguard their children’s identities:

  • Watch for red flags like a medical bill or IRS notice in a child’s name.
  • If you notice something suspicious, act immediately to verify whether it’s a simple mistake or an indication of something more sinister.
  • Most importantly, consider freezing your child’s credit.

To learn more about child identity theft – including how to freeze your child’s credit – visit idtheftcenter.org/childIDtheft. To join the conversation on Twitter, follow the hashtag #childIDtheft.

Consumers and victims can receive free support and guidance from a knowledgeable live-advisor by calling 888.400.5530 or visiting www.idtheftcenter.org to live-chat.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center®

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its contact center, website, social media channels, live-chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: https://www.idtheftcenter.org/.

MEDIA CONTACT

Alex Achten 
Earned & Owned Media Specialist    
888.400.5530 Ext. 3611                                     
media@idtheftcenter.org

About SAS

SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative software and services, SAS empowers and inspires customers around the world to transform data into intelligence. SAS gives you THE POWER TO KNOW®.

MEDIA CONTACT

Danielle M. Bates
919.531.1959
danielle.bates@sas.com

The Identity Theft Resource Center® and AuraTM Identity Guard® surveyed employers and employees on identity compromise solutions as an employment benefit

SAN DIEGO, August 17, 2020 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, and AuraTM Identity Guard®, one of the first to establish the identity theft protection industry in a colossal effort to help consumers protect their identities, released their findings from research on how employers and employees feel about having access to identity compromise support as a benefit option.

The results from the trend analysis, Identity Compromise and the Value of an Employee Benefits Solution, show that employees find significant value in having access to an identity compromise solution; having an available remediation solution creates a better mindset for those that use it; and that there are halo results that benefit others (especially employers). In 2019, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) received over 3.2 million reports of fraud with more reports of identity theft than any other category. There is an opportunity to provide the needed support employees are asking for by giving them access to an identity compromise solution as a component of the benefits suite.

Access The Impacts of Identity Theft on Employees and Their Workplace Report

“Cybersecurity is an organizational issue,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “Cybersecurity is not only in the hands of an IT or security department. Every employee plays a crucial role in its company’s security network. That is why it is so critical employees are educated on cybersecurity and have the proper cyber-hygiene tools.”

In some cases, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of offering an identity compromise solution as an employee benefit. COVID-19 forced many employers to rethink how to conduct business when federal and state governments, under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), issued stay-at-home orders for all nonessential businesses. Many employers were put in an unfamiliar situation of ensuring that their employee’s home environment could sustain their work requirements. Employees had to ensure that their home computing networks, including home routers and modems, had the appropriate security settings in place. Tessian’s The State of Loss Data Report found nearly half of the people surveyed said they are forced to find workarounds for security policies while working from home to do the work required.

“At Aura, we don’t consider our products and features a benefit, rather a necessity,” said Hamed Saeed, General Manager of Aura Identity Guard. “The results of this study clearly indicate the value employees place on having their personal information protected – especially during this pandemic. Additionally, the results illustrate something we’ve known to be true: by protecting employees, employers are also able to protect themselves from digital malice by instilling a culture of cybersecurity across the enterprise.”

The findings support that many employees want an identity compromise solution in some manner – from a referral to a free non-profit service, all the way to an employer-paid solution. Over 82 percent of employers surveyed said that offering access to an identity compromise solution did, indeed, provide value to their staff. In early 2020 AftermathTM survey results, 24.6 percent of victims have had issues with their employer as a result of their personal identity compromise and 27.3 percent have had challenges with their boss or coworkers.

The report is available for download now.

Consumers and victims can receive free support and guidance from a knowledgeable live-advisor by calling 888.400.5530 or visiting www.idtheftcenter.org to live-chat.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center®

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its contact center, website, social media channels, live-chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org.

FOLLOW THE ITRC

Instagram: @idtheftcenter

Facebook: IDTheftCenter

Twitter: @IDTheftCenter                                                                                                                       

About Aura

Aura™ is a technology company dedicated to simplifying digital security for consumers. Committed to creating a unified platform of services, Aura uses adaptive technology to enable customers to manage disparate cybersecurity needs with ease. Innovative personal identity protection and security products such as Identity Guard and Hotspot Shield, privacy products FigLeaf and PrivacyMate and technology services including Intrusta antivirus are part of the Aura family. Trusted by millions of customers, Aura is the digital halo that provides real-time peace of mind. For more information about Aura, visit www.aura.com.

FOLLOW AURA

Instagram: @AuraAllStars
Facebook: Aura Company  
Twitter: @YourDigitalHalo

MEDIA CONTACT

Identity Theft Resource Center                 
Charity Lacey 
VP of Communications    
O: 858-634-6390                                     
C: 619-368- 4373
clacey@idtheftcenter.org

Aura Identity Guard
Lark-Marie Antón
(781) 552-3259
lark@auracompany.com


The number of individuals impacted by data breaches dropped 66 percent compared to 2019

SAN DIEGO, July 14, 2020 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, released its U.S. data breach findings for the first half of 2020.

According to the data breach analysis, publicly-reported U.S. data breaches have dropped 33 percent in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019. Impacted individuals have also dropped – 66 percent. Attacks by external threat actors are still the most common cause of a data breach (404 so far in 2020), but compromises caused by internal threat actors are at a three-year low (83 so far in 2020) as more people work from home and have less access to internal systems and data. Data breaches involving third-party contractors and vendors are also down (53 so far in 2020).

Six-month data breach trends between January – June 2020 provided by ITRC

Access the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2020 Six-Month Data Breach Analysis and Key Takeaways here

“The decrease in the number of data breaches and individuals impacted is good news for consumers and businesses overall,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “However, the emotional and financial impacts on individuals and organizations are still significant. The impact on individuals may be even more harmful as criminals use stolen personal information to misappropriate government benefits intended to ease the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ITRC will continue to help victims by guiding them on the best ways to navigate the dangers of exposed personal information from a data breach and the risks of identity crime as a result.”

Year-over-year data breach trends 2020 provided by ITRC
Year-over-year data breach trends 2020 provided by ITRC

Unless there is a significant uptick in reported data breaches, the ITRC projects 2020 is on pace to see the lowest number of breaches and exposures since 2015. However, the ITRC believes the lower number of breaches is only temporary because cybercriminals are using data stolen in data breaches dating back to 2015 to execute scams, credential stuffing attacks, phishing attacks and fraud that requires identity data.

“With so much data being consumed and so much focus on improved cyber-hygiene at work and home, the available pool of useful data is being reduced,” Velasquez said. “Cybercriminals will have to act to update their data at some point, which will lead to a return to more normal threat patterns. While it is too early to tell when that may occur, it likely won’t happen overnight, but breaches will gradually increase over time.”

For anyone that has been a victim of a data breach, the ITRC recommends downloading its free ID Theft Help app to manage the various aspects of an individual’s data breach case.

Consumers and victims can receive free support and guidance from a knowledgeable live-advisor by calling 888.400.5530 or visiting www.idtheftcenter.org to live-chat.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its contact center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org

MEDIA CONTACT:
Identity Theft Resource Center                 
Charity Lacey 
VP of Communications    
O: 858-634-6390                                     
C: 619-368- 4373
clacey@idtheftcenter.org

Ralph Linares, John Breyault and Brooke Fortson added to the Board of Directors

SAN DIEGO, June 23, 2020 – The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, are pleased to announce Ralph Linares, Goldfish Consulting; John Breyault, National Consumers League; and Brooke Fortson, SAS, were elected to its Board of Directors.

“I am pleased to welcome these three industry leaders to our board as each of their individual skill sets and experience will collectively help the ITRC better serve victims of identity and cyber crime,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the ITRC. “Their valuable expertise is unmatched and will ultimately strengthen our capabilities and understanding as we continue to strive towards meeting our mission of assisting victims of identity and cyber crimes and helping them resolve their cases.”

Ralph Linares, John Breyault and Brooke Fortson added to the Board of Directors

Linares is CIO and Founder of Goldfish Consulting. He has over twenty years of experience in information technology and cybersecurity. With leadership, technical and operational expertise, Linares enjoys educating businesses on leveraging technologies and applying best practices. He focuses his services in cloud, hybrid and local infrastructure, and business operations for startups and high growth companies.

Breyault is a nationally-recognized consumer advocate with more than 15 years of experience championing the rights of consumers and the underserved. At the National Consumers League, Breyault advocates for stronger consumer protections before Congress and federal agencies on issues related to telecommunications, fraud, data security, privacy, aviation, live event ticketing, video gaming and other consumer concerns.

Fortson is Sr. Manager of Global Product Marketing and leads the global product marketing team responsible for the SAS Fraud and Security Intelligence portfolio of solutions. She is also a Brand Champion for SAS and an advocate for Women in Analytics for Fraud and Financial Crime. Fortson also lends her time as a program leader for GiGi’s Playhouse – a center of excellence for children and adults with Down Syndrome.

Leading the organization’s growth with his Board of Director’s service as Board Chair, Matt Cullina has concluded his second consecutive term. Without this invaluable guidance of the Board and the executive team, many of the initiatives over the last six years would not have come to fruition. The executive team wishes to thank Cullina for his dedication, leadership and commitment to the mission.

With Cullina’s departure, the ITRC announced Matthew Donahue, LexisNexis, was elected the new Board Chair.

Donahue has served on the board for over three years with positions as Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. He is director of Market Planning for the Tax and Revenue business unit at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Donahue headed successful change management initiatives with federal and state government agencies.

 “I am thrilled to have Matthew on our board in this new capacity,” Velasquez said. “We are eager for Matthew to bring his wealth of knowledge to his new position as Board Chair, and to help us achieve our mission to educate and empower all our stakeholders of identity crime.”

To see a full list of the Board of Directors, click here.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center®

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud, and privacy issues. Through public and private support, ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: https://www.idtheftcenter.org.

Identity Theft Resource Center
Charity Lacey
VP of Communications
O: 858-634-6390
clacey@idtheftcenter.org

While the number of breaches in 2019 increased, the number of sensitive records exposed decreased

SAN DIEGO, January 28, 2020 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center®, a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, released its annual End-of-Year Data Breach Report for 2019 with the support of the report’s long-time sponsor CyberScout®, a global leader in identity theft resolution, data defense and employee benefits services.

According to the report, the number of U.S. data breaches tracked in 2019 (1,473) increased 17 percent from the total number of breaches reported in 2018 (1,257). However, 2019 saw 164,683,455 sensitive records exposed, a 65 percent decrease from 2018 (471,225,862). The 2018 Marriott data breach exposed 383 million records alone, significantly skewing the data.

Download the report here: https://www.idtheftcenter.org/2019-data-breaches/

 “The increase in the number of data breaches during 2019, while not surprising, is a serious issue,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “It would appear that 2018 was an anomaly in how many data breaches were reported and the number of records exposed. The 2019 reporting year sees a return to the pattern of the ever-increasing number of breaches and volume of records exposed. Because that means more consumers are becoming victims, the ITRC will continue to help them by providing guidance on the best ways to navigate the dangers of exposed personally identifiable information (PII) from a data breach and the risks of identity crime as a result.”

“This year’s report paints a mixed view of the landscape as we continue to work with businesses and consumers alike to thwart cyber criminals and contain their damage,” said Matt Cullina, CyberScout’s EVP of Strategic Partnerships and Managing Director of Global Markets; and Board Chair of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “The overall increase in breaches is certainly concerning. However, the extraordinary drop in the number of records exposed and the incredible feat of cutting the sensitive PII exposed by two thirds, indicates that we may be moving in a good direction with regards to the extent of the damage associated with breaches. Businesses and consumers need to continue to be vigilant in protecting data and systems, ensuring they have current protections in place, because even non-sensitive data exposure can lead to more serious issues.”

Another critical finding was that “hacking” was responsible for the highest percentage of data breaches (39 percent) and the highest number of non-sensitive records exposed (81 percent). “Unauthorized access” was the second most common breach method identified with nearly the same percentage as hacking at 36.5 percent. Unauthorized access continued to be a catch-all category with little transparency on the actual method of intrusion throughout 2019.

For the second straight year, the business sector had the most data breaches (644), while the medical/healthcare sector had the second most (525). The government/military sector had the fewest amount of breaches in 2019 at 83.

The ITRC has also now tracked over 10,000 publicly-notified data breaches since 2005, hitting that milestone in the spring of 2019.

For anyone that has been a victim of a data breach, the ITRC recommends downloading its free app to manage the various aspects of an individual’s data breach case.

Consumers and victims can receive free support and guidance from a knowledgeable live-advisor by calling 888.400.5530 or visiting www.idtheftcenter.org to live-chat.

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About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its contact center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org

Identity Theft Resource Center
Charity Lacey
VP of Communications
O: 858-634-6390
C: 619-368-4373
clacey@idtheftcenter.org

About CyberScout

Since 2003, CyberScout® has set the standard for full-spectrum identity, privacy and data security services, offering proactive protection, employee benefits, education, resolution, identity management and consulting as well as breach preparedness and response programs. CyberScout products and services are offered globally by 660 client partners to more than 17.5 million households worldwide, and CyberScout is the designated identity theft services provider for more than 750,000 businesses through cyber insurance policies. CyberScout combines extensive experience with high-touch service to help individuals, government, nonprofit and commercial clients minimize risk and maximize recovery.

CyberScout
Heather McLaughlin
media@cyberscout.com

The ITRC reflects on its 20th anniversary, envisioning what the future holds for identity crime victims

SAN DIEGO, December 19, 2019 – Today, the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity crime, proudly announced its 20th anniversary. Over the ITRC’s twenty-year history, the organization has grown from the vision of a single person, a victim of identity theft who wanted to help others, into a collaborative movement engaged with consumers, victims, business and government stakeholders to make changes for victims.

“I feel an extraordinary sense of pride and accomplishment when I look in the rearview mirror at the progress the ITRC has made in bringing awareness to victim assistance and consumer protection, and acknowledging the impact and trauma victims of economic crime experience,” said Eva Velasquez, president and CEO of the Identity Theft Resource Center. “More policy and decision makers acknowledge the economic and social importance of serving the vastly underserved population of identity crime and cybercrime victims as a result of our efforts.”

While the ITRC is proud of what it has accomplished, the organization is focused on what lies ahead. Fraud losses are currently in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars per year. As long as fraudsters continue to attack cyber infrastructures, the ITRC will continue to assist everyone who is caught up by those outcomes. The ITRC will hold the hands of victims as they seek resolution. The organization will continue to leverage technology to assist victims and consumers, as well as be the voice of clarity in a space full of conflicting and confusing information.

As 2019 wraps up and we head into 2020, the ITRC looks to all of the stakeholders – consumers, businesses and government – to support it as it looks to create impactful, sustainable changes that will minimize the impacts and mitigate the harm of identity crime.

To learn more about the Identity Theft Resource Center, visit www.idtheftcenter.org.

About the Identity Theft Resource Center

Founded in 1999, the Identity Theft Resource Center® (ITRC) is a nationally recognized non-profit organization established to support victims of identity theft in resolving their cases, and to broaden public education and awareness in the understanding of identity theft, data breaches, cybersecurity, scams/fraud and privacy issues. Through public and private support, the ITRC provides no-cost victim assistance and consumer education through its call center, website, social media channels, live chat feature and ID Theft Help app. For more information, visit: http://www.idtheftcenter.org

Contact: Charity Lacey, VP of Communications

CLacey@idtheftcenter.org

O: 858-634-6390