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Sunday 21 October 2018


Bank account identity fraud falls in 2017

Written by Anthony Strzalek

Bank account identity fraud in the UK has declined in the first six months of 2017, despite a sharp increase of identity fraud on the whole, new figures have shown.

The data from Cifas, a UK fraud prevention service, shows that identity fraud has continued to rise at record levels in H1 2017. A record 89,000 identity frauds were recorded during this period, up five per cent from last year. Representing over half of all fraud recorded by the UK’s not-for-profit fraud data sharing organisation, 83 per cent of identity frauds were perpetrated online.

The latest figures show there has been a sharp rise in identity fraudsters applying for loans, online retail, telecoms and insurance products. And although the number of identity fraud attempts against bank accounts and plastic cards has fallen these still account for more than half of all identity fraud cases.

Bank account identity fraud fell from 28,872 in H1 2016 to 24,759 in H1, a 14.2 per cent drop. Over the same period plastic card identity fraud declined 12 per cent to 29,852.

There was a 53.9 per cent rise in identity fraud from loans, rising to 11,499 in the first half of this year. And the insurance sector saw identity fraud skyrocket by 10,250 per cent from 20 cases in H1 2016 to 2,070 in 2017.

Simon Dukes, chief executive of Cifas, said: “We have seen identity fraud attempts increase year on year, now reaching epidemic levels, with identities being stolen at a rate of almost 500 a day. These frauds are taking place almost exclusively online. The vast amounts of personal data that is available either online or through data breaches is only making it easier for the fraudster.”

Head of the City of London Police’s economic crime directorate, detective superintendent Glenn Maleary, added: “We urge consumers and businesses to be conscious of identify fraudsters and to use our protection advice to help stop them in their tracks. We continue to work with banks, retailers and other members of industry to disrupt fraudsters activity however we also realise it is our responsibility to help advise consumers and businesses around these types of issues.”

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