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ID fraud at highest ever level

New statistics show that ID fraud is rising and is now at its highest ever level. This means that businesses are increasingly being defrauded out of credit and products. We discuss how organisations can protect themselves against this type of crime.

New statistics from CIFAS, the fraud prevention body, reveal that identity fraud has reached its highest ever level with a record 172,919 incidents reported last year. Identity fraud now represents over half of all fraud recorded.

 

The vast majority of identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be an innocent individual to buy a product or take out a loan/credit in their name. Often victims do not even realise that they have been targeted until a bill arrives for something they did not buy or they experience problems with their credit rating. To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters need access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, their bank and who they hold accounts with. Fraudsters get hold of this in a variety of ways, from stealing mail through to hacking; obtaining data on the ‘dark web’; exploiting personal information on social media, or through ‘social engineering’ where innocent parties are persuaded to give up personal information to someone pretending to be from their bank, the police or a trusted retailer. Another common form of identity fraud is deceased fraud where criminals steal and use the identity of people that have passed away. The personal information of deceased babies is particularly attractive to fraudsters as typically this type of fraud takes much longer to detect. In 2016 there were almost 1,000 recorded incidences of so-called jackal fraud, although it is thought that this could be much higher as the figures only reflect those incidences that have been discovered. To counter this type of fraud there are calls for a new procedure to be put into place to invalidate deceased babies’ birth certificates with an official stamp recording the death so that unscrupulous individuals can’t use it in the future for fraudulent purposes. However, the passport office has said that “it would be impractical to mark or annotate birth certificates because it only keeps records of ‘life events’ that occur in England and Wales.”

 

Deceased identity fraud is growing and is a significant problem for many businesses that provide credit. Our deceased identify fraud product, Halo, helps these organisations to identify incidences of such fraud when applications are made meaning that the fraud is stopped at the source rather than left to go unchecked for months or even years. In this case prevention is definitely better than a cure. For more information on how to combat deceased identity fraud give one of our experts a ring on 01274 538888.

 


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