Bad news for financial services and retailers - Identity fraud takes top fraud spot

Identity fraud; where personal information is stolen and then used fraudulently to secure a loan or credit, is now the most prevalent form of fraud in the UK. The league table compiled by the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies at the University Portsmouth and Privilege Home Insurance ranks fraud affecting individuals based on:

The percentage of people subject to an attack

The average value of the losses

The number of cases recorded in the last 12 months

The number of times the fraud has been talked about online

This is the first time instances of fraud have been quantified according to their net effect and real-life impact on victims, as opposed to simply their frequency or commonness.

Identify fraud topped the table by scoring 49 out of a possible 60 points. In one of the worst known cases, a British man was left with a £130,000 bill after the German authorities pursued him for debts resulting from someone using his identity with a stolen passport to establish a company. Investment fraud with 43.5 points was placed second and lottery fraud (42.5 points) came third.

This research supports our most recent fraud study which revealed that offenders in the UK believe ID fraud and specifically deceased id fraud (stealing the details of someone that has died and using them to secure credit) is the easiest crime to commit. Combined these studies paint a bleak picture for financial services and retailers that fall foul of these fraudsters by unwittingly providing them with credit in the form of loans, credit cards, store cards, phone contracts, mortgages, catalogue accounts etc.

If you are a business that might be affected by identity fraud give us a call to find out about Halo our fraud alert product which identifies fraudulent applications at the source.