According to CIFAS Members, 2009 saw an alarming increase in current address fraud, a type of identity fraud.
Current address fraud occurs when an identity fraudster obtains a full set of their victims’ details and attempts to impersonate them at their current address. This makes it much more difficult for businesses to detect the fraud, making any application seem more legitimate.
The percentage of current address fraud in 2009 rose to 55% of all identity fraud, up from just 31% in 2008. Nearly 85% of identity frauds committed against mail order accounts in 2009 were done this way.
Richard Hurley, CIFAS Communications Manager, comments: “Consumers must be increasingly aware and vigilant – and ensure that they protect all of their details. The rise in this more sophisticated kind of fraud can often be perpetrated by organised criminal networks exploiting our use of computers and the internet to obtain, by stealth (for example through phishing attacks or malware) a more complete set of our details.
Not only must consumers dispose of physical details in a secure manner, but they must also ensure that sensitive electronic documents are kept separate from each other. Scanned documents and account details must, preferably, not be kept on computer hard drives but, more preferably, be backed up onto discs and full virus and malware protection products must be in place.”
CIFAS is the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service with 265 Member organisations spread across banking, credit cards, asset finance, retail credit, mail order, insurance, investment management, telecommunications, factoring and share dealing. Members share information on identified frauds in the fight to prevent further fraud.
You can buy identity fraud protection insurance, to help should your personal information find its way into criminal hands.