A new report by the Identity Theft Resource Center and LexisNexis Risk Solutions has found that 63 percent of surveyed government officials said their agencies have gone back to pre-pandemic levels of identity-related benefit fraud.
The IDentification in a Post-Pandemic World Report covered responses from 986 government executives, general consumers and self-identified identity crime victims who were surveyed by ITRC in March, the two organizations said in a joint release published Tuesday.
The study shows that 58 percent of government officials surveyed said their agencies have modernized technologies since January 2022 and 53 percent of respondents noted that improving security including identity verification was the primary reason for the modernization effort.
When asked about the changes made to their identity verification processes, 20 percent of respondents said verifying identity during access was the primary improvement and 16 percent cited their agencies’ engagement with a private, third-party vendor to provide identity verification.
According to the report, 52 percent of identity crime victims reported that they find it easy or very easy to verify their identity.
“The voices of victims are especially important in this study because every statistic represents a real person and potentially a family negatively impacted by identity theft. The transnational criminals who put an unprecedented strain on pandemic programs continue to attack government benefit systems,” said Haywood Talcove, CEO of the government business at LexisNexis Risk Solutions.
Of those individuals who described the identity verification process difficult, 42 percent pointed to the length of the process and 41 percent cited unclear instructions.
The study also found that only 16 percent of consumers said they believe their information is secure.
“Studies such as this can help us improve technology, ensure it is equitable, and continue to assist government agencies as they work to provide critical services to deserving citizens,” added Talcove, a three-time Wash100 awardee.