Analysis of frauds recorded by cross sector Members of CIFAS – the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service during the past 12 months has revealed some significant trends in fraudulent activity:
• Almost 114,000 confirmed frauds were recorded to the CIFAS National Fraud Database in the first half of 2013.
• The use of fake identity details, or the impersonation of an innocent victim (Identity Fraud) now accounts for over a half (52%) of all fraud.
• Account – or facility – takeover frauds constitute 14% of all frauds, meaning that two thirds of all frauds (66%) related directly to the abuse of identity details.
• The number of frauds against plastic card accounts (e.g. credit or store cards) rose by 19% in first half of 2013 compared with the last six months of 2012. Frauds targeting loan products (personal unsecured loans and payday loans) also increased markedly over the same period.
The increasing fraud problem
The increase in levels of fraud is alarming news, revealing the scale of the fraud problem currently blighting the UK economy. While improved detection techniques used by organisations will undoubtedly help to uncover more fraud, the levels and types of fraud being attempted and committed are a sobering reality check to businesses, the public sector and individuals.
Personal Identity Fraud
Your identity is a valuable commodity. You need it to function in everyday life. You need evidence of who you are to open bank accounts, obtain credit cards, finance, loans and mortgages, to obtain goods or services, or to claim benefits.
However, you might not be the only person using your own personal details, and your identity can be used by fraudsters who can impersonate you and take out various forms of credit or services, using your name. They can even take over your existing bank accounts by pretending to be you and, in extreme cases, even buy a house in your name.