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April 30, 2010

Identity fraud up 20%

by Gill Montia

Story link: Identity fraud up 20%

CIFAS has produced an analysis of fraud trends during the first quarter of 2010, highlighting a rise of almost 20% in identity fraud, when compared to a year earlier.

However, overall fraud levels remain consistent, with nearly 60,000 proven frauds identified in the first three months of the year, according to the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service.

Furthermore, the first quarter of 2010 actually saw a slight decrease (-1.37%) in the total number of frauds recorded by CIFAS members, when compared with the previous three months.

Returning to identity fraud, CIFAS describes it as a “sinister crime” because fraudsters use the names and details of their victims to generate their ill-gotten gains.

The body is therefore concerned at the sharp rise seen in the early part of the year, explaining that it reflects a trend that has become more pronounced during the past 12 months.

CIFAS communications manager, Richard Hurley, comments: “The challenge for us all, therefore, is to battle against the sophisticated criminals that perpetrate these crimes.”

He adds: “The changes in the types of fraudulent activity witnessed in the past two years demonstrate that fraud does not disappear – it simply adapts.”

The National Fraud Authority estimates the total cost of fraud to the UK economy at £30 billion per year.


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