Identity fraud up 32%
by Gill Montia
Story link: Identity fraud up 32%
CIFAS has published an analysis of 2009 fraud trends in which it reports a 32% rise in identity fraud, compared to a year earlier.
This type of fraud involves the use of a stolen or false identity to obtain goods or services by deception, and according to the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, the rise has a direct link to the recession.
The body explains: “Fraudsters have seen the reduction in the overall amount of lending taking place during 2009, discouraging many from attempting to commit application fraud (e.g. the use of lies and forged documents in an attempt to obtain products or services).”
Adding: “This has led to a 25% reduction in application fraud but has meant that they have returned to stealing the identities of others in order to gain products and services.”
Furthermore, last year saw over 85,000 victims of impersonation fraud and 24,000 victims of takeover fraud (when an account is hijacked by fraudsters).
The figures represent increases of 35% and 16% respectively on 2008 and an overall increase in victims of 31%.
CIFAS communications manager, Richard Hurley, comments: “Fraudsters are adapting their approach in an attempt to ensure that their profits do not suffer during the recession, with absolutely no thought for the profoundly damaging impact this has on their victims.”
Finally, false insurance claims increased by 55% in 2009 and demonstrated a change in approach by fraudsters.
In particular, last year saw a surge in claims for staged or completely fictitious events rather than inflated claims for damage and losses actually incurred.
CIFAS says the shift is indicative of “a whole criminal element changing its behaviour”.
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