News and Press

Is your business at risk from deceased identity fraudsters? You might be surprised!

Its not just financial services, retail and telcos that are at risk from identity fraudsters

Anyone familiar with identity fraud will know that it is a problem that is on the rise. Latest figures from Cifas suggest that increasing numbers of people are having their identities stolen, often by professional gangs in order to procure fraudulent goods and services in their names. Deceased identity fraud is an offshoot of this and occurs when someone uses the personal information of someone that has passed away. Traditionally this has been a problem for organisations that provide credit – for instance retailers, financial services, mobile phone providers etc. However, it is actually proving to be a problem for many other sectors.

For instance the public sector. A recent audit in Scotland revealed that a significant number of blue disabled badges were registered to people that were deceased. Removing these badges from circulation would save an estimated £2.4 million.

Another sector that is impacted by deceased identity fraud is transport. Earlier this week I was travelling to London by train. Unfortunately the ticket machine only printed my outbound journey so I had to track down the guard. She checked my ticket against the receipt to ensure I hadn't just picked up someone else's discarded ticket. I asked if that was common practice and we started talking about ticket fraud. She then mentioned that one of the biggest problems they face is railcard fraud - particulay the continued use of a railcard following the death of an individual. As railcards do not require photo ID it is easy for friends and family to continue to use the discount card until it expires. Whilst this is clearly not as large a problem in terms of the amount of money defrauded as criminals stealing the personal details of the deceased in order to gain credit cards, mortgages and mobile phone contracts, it still reduces the revenue of train companies and will be a contributing factor to annual ticket price hikes.

Cifas warns that new forms of ID fraud are being developed almost weekly and it is important for organisations to understand and stay abreast of the risks that could impact their business in order to protect themselves and their customers. Our deceased identity fraud prevention product, Halo, enables organisations to identify customers that are deceased in order to mitigate the risk of this type of fraud. For further information please don't hesitate to contact us on 01274 53 88 21