Wonga attack means increase in deceased identity fraud

The most recent data breach, which has been coined the worst to date, is estimated to impact up to 270,000 customers of payday loan company Wonga.com. Initial investigations reveal that personal data including names, addresses and card details have been unlawfully accessed and the organisation is urging those affected to be vigilant and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.

But it is not just customers of Wonga that need to be on alert - it is all credit providers in the UK; from financial services through to retailers, who could potentially fall victim to deceased ID fraud maybe years in the future.  Analysis of our deceased identity fraud alert product, Halo, shows a correlation between large scale data breaches and increased incidences of this type of fraud. When large volumes of personal data hit the black market organised gangs of ID fraud criminals keep the data and match it against obituaries on a regular basis to identify the breached organisation’s (in this case Wonga) customers that have passed away. This data is more valuable than ‘live’ data since deceased ID fraud is much harder to detect and therefore criminals stand to gain significantly more from this form of fraud.

It is proven that the most effective way to protect against deceased identity fraud is to stop it at the source – when applications for credit are first made. Halo, our deceased ID fraud protection product, uses up-to-date deceased data to identify any applications that maybe being made by someone that has passed way, and is therefore fraudulent.