Identity Fraud Rises Over 30%
Published: 1 March 2010 By MoneyHighStreet Staff Leave a Comment
According to CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, 2009 saw a 32% increase in identity fraud, driven by identity fraudsters targeting bank accounts, communications, and mail order products.
Total frauds increased by nearly 10% in 2009 compared with 2008 with the ‘typical’ victim of identity fraud being a man in his forties. That said there has been an increase in women being impersonated, or having their accounts taken over, indicating that now, as never before, anyone can be a potential target.
There has been a general increase in the level of identity frauds committed through current address fraud: where the fraudster applies in the name of an innocent victim, and uses the victim’s real address as opposed to a fake or previous address on the application.
Over 60% of the identity frauds committed on loan accounts in 2009 were current address frauds. Fraud of this type has a greater chance of working as the application will look ‘normal’ to the lender and is often the preserve of the organised criminal (requiring a sophisticated approach that enables them to intercept the post that would otherwise reach their victim, for instance). This is a solemn reminder of the criminal networks that use fraud. Equally, however, this type of fraud can be perpetrated by individuals connected to the victim of impersonation (e.g. friends and family) – on the assumption that the victim will not be held responsible.
Peter Hurst, CIFAS Chief Executive, comments: “At a time when every responsible member of society feels the strain of current economic conditions, the findings presented in Fraudscape not only reveal the true nature of the frauds identified but also reveal many of the problems and challenges ahead.”
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. CIFAS is unique and was the first data sharing scheme of its type in the world.
With the rise in identity fraud, personal information should be carefully looked after and protected at all times.