Report finds identity fraud ‘on the rise’ in the UK

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A new report published by fraud prevention service Cifas has revealed that 2017 had the ‘highest number of identity fraud cases ever recorded’.

Cifas polled 306 organisations and found that, during 2017, the number of identify fraud cases rose to 174,523 – representing an ‘all-time high’, and an increase of 125% when compared to ten years ago.

In 95% of these cases, victims were impersonated by criminals, Cifas stated.

It revealed that criminals are increasingly targeting sectors such as telecoms, online retail and insurance to carry out fraudulent activities, as opposed to making fraudulent applications for bank accounts and credit cards.

The report also found that the number of individuals aged between 14 and 24 becoming ‘money mules’ rose by 27%. Cifas suggested that such individuals were targeted by fraudsters with the promise of ‘easy cash’.

In addition, Cifas stated that, using non-competitive data sharing, businesses successfully prevented over £1.3 billion in fraud losses in 2017.

Commenting on the report, Mike Haley, Deputy Chief Executive of Cifas, said: ‘The absolute volume of fraud is still frighteningly high and much more still needs to be done to reduce its prevalence, including greater collaboration and sharing of fraud risk data between industry, government and law enforcement.’