Record 15M Americans Hit by Identity Fraud in 2016: Study

Fraud online and through the phone rose 40 percent

Identity fraud hit a record 15.4 million Americans last year, NBC News reported. The number is up 16 percent from 2015, according to a study from Javelin Strategy and Research.

Despite widespread efforts to fight identity theft, crooks successfully netted two million more victims and stole $16 billion.  

"Criminals are getting much better at committing fraud online," said Al Pascual, research director and head of fraud and security at Javelin Strategy & Research. "Their skill sets are improving and the tools that they're using are much more sophisticated."

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