Fed recommends synthetic ID fraud definition

The Federal Reserve Tuesday released an industry-recommended definition of synthetic identity fraud: The use of a combination of personally identifiable information (PII) to fabricate a person or entity in order to commit a dishonest act for personal or financial gain.

The definition was developed by a focus group of fraud experts in an attempt to improve efforts to identify and address this type of fraud. Synthetic identity fraud has been reported as the fastest-growing type of financial crime in the U.S., but multiple definitions led to inconsistent categorization and reporting.

The group outlined PII elements that may be used to create a synthetic identity:

  • Primary elements: Identity elements that are unique to an individual or profile, such as name, date of birth, Social Security number, and other government-issued identifiers.


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