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Identity Fraud Increasing in the UK

A recent report from CIFAS, a membership association focused on fraud prevention in the UK, found that incidences of identity fraud greatly increased in 2011 and that identity fraud made up more than half of all fraud in the region.

According to the CIFAS report overall fraud in the United Kingdom increased by 9 percent in the last year while identity fraud comprised 58 percent of the total. Cases of criminals using identity fraud to takeover or manipulate bank accounts increased by 35 percent while identity fraud related to loans grew 58 percent. Another alarming figure was the number of fraudulent attempts to obtain someone’s credit file, which rose from 285 in 2007 to over 4,800 attempts in 2011.

CIFAS cites many sources fraudsters use to obtain identity information including phishing, hacking, malware, online scams and social networks. Considering the many millions of consumer records exposed in 2011 and the over willingness for consumers to share personal information online it shouldn’t come as much surprise that identity fraud is increasing. As fraudster are able to obtain identity information pilfered through data breaches and easily search for more consumer information through social network profiles, financial institutions and merchants have dealt with an increase in account takeover and identity fraud attempts while the fraudsters are able to provide the real consumer’s information.

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