Identity fraud figures soar
Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has released new figures showing that identity fraud has continued to rise at record levels in the first six months of 2017. A record 89,000 identity frauds were recorded, up 5% from last year.
- Record 89,000 cases recorded in first six months of year by Cifas
- Sharp rise in identity fraudsters applying for loans, online retail, telecoms and insurance products.
- Identity fraud now accounts for 56% of all fraud reported by Cifas members, of which 83% was committed online.
How fraudsters operate
The vast majority of identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be an innocent individual to buy a product or take out a loan in their name. Often victims do not even realise that they have been targeted until a bill arrives for something they did not buy or they experience problems with their credit rating.
To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters need access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, their bank and who they hold accounts with. Fraudsters get hold of this in a variety of ways, from stealing mail through to hacking; obtaining data on the ‘dark web’; exploiting personal information on social media, or though ‘social engineering’ where innocent parties are persuaded to give up personal information to someone pretending to be from their bank, the police or a trusted retailer.
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