Identity fraud figures demonstrate continued danger says CIFAS
Analysis of the fraud figures recorded during 2013 by organisations that share confirmed fraud data through CIFAS – the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service demonstrates that identity fraud remains the biggest fraud challenge facing the UK.
While overall fraud levels decreased in 2013 by 11%, there were still over 108,500 confirmed identity frauds: which represents almost 1 in 2 of all frauds (49%).
Old favourite is the new product of choice for identity fraudsters
Identity frauds (the use of a false identity or attempt to impersonate an innocent victim) that targeted the plastic cards sector (i.e. credit and store card accounts), increased by over 35% in 2013 from the levels seen in 2012. In fact, plastic card identity frauds accounted for almost 40% of all identity frauds recorded during 2013. This makes the credit and store card sector the favoured target for identity fraudsters in the UK.
CIFAS Communications Manager, Richard Hurley, tells IT Security Guru in an email: “CIFAS has long commented that fraudsters will continue to shift their attention: moving from one organisation to another and from one type of product to another. The figures for 2013, when compared with 2012, prove this once again. Whereas in 2012, identity fraud centred upon the online retail sector, the criminals behind this type of fraud turned their sights towards the credit and store card sector in 2013. Such a dramatic shift underlines that organisations must be aware that they can very quickly become the next target for the fraudsters.”
The online danger
The need for individuals to be careful when online, and to review how information is stored or shared, is underlined by the further revelation that an astonishing 90% of all identity frauds against plastic card accounts were attempted online.
Richard Hurley notes: “The internet has revolutionised the way that we all conduct our business. But the internet is also a fantastic enabler for the modern fraudster. The fact that so many identity frauds on plastic cards (well over 43,000) were attempted online must serve as a wake up call not only to organisations but to every individual too. We must all ensure that we are practising good, safe, online behaviour and putting barriers in the way of the fraudster who would, otherwise, make use of our details to walk away with our money and leave us with the bill.”