With Identity Fraud in Focus, we leverage our research and internal fraud data to provide insights so experts, organizations and consumers can stay informed about emerging threats online.

Key discoveries:

Top identity fraud and theft crimes from Q1

ChatGPT, AI, and emerging digital threats

Identity Fraud in Focus quarterly report is now downloadable

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Identity Fraud in Focus quarterly report.

The report at a glance

Top identity fraud and theft crimes from Q1

Here at Allstate Identity Protection, we saw new account fraud involving Small Business Administration (SBA) programs increase 213% year over year in Q1. This is when a person or business intentionally makes a false statement to a federal agency or federally insured financial institution to obtain a loan.

  • How the SBA works

    The SBA works with lending agencies and banks to make it easier for small businesses to obtain loans. During the COVID-19 pandemic, SBA also provided direct funding to small businesses through grants, disaster loans, and economic stimulus programs, such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

  • SBA-related fraud and the pandemic

    In total, the federal government provided approximately $4.6 trillion to help the nation recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.1 Unfortunately, bad actors took advantage of loopholes in the system to steal billions in taxpayer money.

    While no one is sure how much was stolen, conservative estimates suggest the PPP program alone was looted for nearly $80 billion in what former U.S. attorney Matthew Schneider calls “the biggest fraud in a generation.”2

  • What is happening now

    We’ve been tracking Covid-19 fraud since the beginning of the pandemic, but the effect on individual victims will take years to untangle, which is why SBA new account fraud saw the highest increase of any fraud type in the first quarter of 2023, three years after the pandemic began.

    Quick takeaways

    • $80B the estimated amount stolen from the PPP loan program2

    • 213% the increase in SBA New Account Fraud in the first quarter of 20233

New artificial intelligence software is being exploited by scammers

ChatGPT, OpenAI's artificial intelligence chatbot, amassed over 100 million users in its first two months, making it the fastest-growing app in history.4 The language model can answer questions and assist with basic online tasks such as writing emails, essays, and source code with accuracy and precision. This has the potential to help companies improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase customer engagement.

But like any new technology that takes the internet by storm, scammers are finding more ways to cash in on identity fraud.

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