Last year may have recorded the highest amount of identity fraud ever, with online scams taking a huge toll.
Just last year, 15.4 million people were victims of identity fraud, the most recorded at any point in over a decade, according to the 2017 Identity Fraud report from Javelin Strategy & Research in partnership with LifeLock.
Much of the increase can be attributed to fraudulent online purchases, which rose 15 percent in 2016, The Wall Street Journal reports. The rise makes sense: Credit card chips were designed to help limit in-person fraud, but are ineffective against online shopping.
“Fraud is kind of like squeezing Jell-O,” said Dr. Stephen Coggeshall, chief analytics and science officer at ID Analytics. “Stop it one place, and it migrates to somewhere else.”
Several credit card networks, banks, and technology firms are trying to adopt more secure measures for consumers when they purchase online products. For example, payment processor Cayan, which serves small and medium-sized businesses, plans to adopt technology from the fraudulent solutions servicer Kount, according to Bloomberg.
And while credit card fraud is a worry for every company, it especially impacts small businesses. “Credit card companies are not legally required to assist in tracking down fraudsters,” according to . “Businesses can have a tough time recovering merchandise purchased through illegitimate means. And when you operate a small business, you simply can’t afford the risk.”