At Millennium Data we like to think we have our finger on the pulse. We therefore weren’t too surprised when we found out we had stolen the march on CIFAS and its latest Fraudscape report which was released last week. Just two weeks prior Decision Marketing published our predictions on identify fraud, which can be read here:

Nonetheless the fraud prevention service’s study made interesting reading. Contrary to popular opinion little old ladies were found not to be the primary target for fraudsters. Instead, digitally active men in their 40s were revealed as the favoured demographic for criminal gangs. A sea change in modus operandi was detected. In the past gangs used the internet to hijack their target’s existing accounts, however, over the last 12 months, ID fraudsters now tend to gather personal data on targets in order to impersonate them online and set up completely new accounts in their name.

Almost 114,000 instances of identity fraud were recorded representing a 5% increase from 2013 and constituting 41% of all fraud recorded through CIFAS in 2014. The need to protect personal data is consequently stronger than ever.

The continuing rise in identity fraud is further evidence of the increasingly organised nature of fraud. Identity fraud is an organised business. Criminals are setting up operations, obtaining data and either using or selling it. Deceased data  - personal information about people that have passed away - is particularly valuable and is sold on for more money than ‘live’ data as typically the fraud goes undetected for longer costing billions each year.

The home shopping, mobile phone and financial services industries are the sectors most often targeted by deceased identity fraudsters. Our deceased ID fraud prevention product, HALO, irradiates deceased ID fraud by flagging applications and accounts held or applied for by people that have passed away.