Identity fraud growing at an alarming rate

The latest figures from Cifas reveal that identity fraud in the UK is now at its highest ever level, and shows no signs of reducing.

There has been an eight per cent rise over the last 12 months with over 189,000 incidences reported. However, this figure is likely to be much higher since many cases go unreported and even undetected. Plastic card fraud was found to be the most prevalent rising by 41 per cent in 2018.

Although identity fraud has risen across all age groups, it is the young and old that are falling prey. Victims aged 21 and under rose by a quarter, while the over-60s saw an alarming increase of 34 per cent on the previous year.

As older people are more likely to be approved for credit and their online presence grows, fraudsters are increasingly targeting them online with more than 33,000 over-60s becoming victims.

No information was provided in the report about deceased identity fraud. However, given that it is one the fastest growing forms of identity fraud, due to practices such as ‘ghosting’ and increasingly easy ways of gathering the personal information of people that have died from the dark web, it is likely that this form of fraud is also on the rise.

Clearly it is crucial for organisations to take a more urgent look at their fraud prevention measures in order to better protect themselves and their most vulnerable customers – which also include people that have passed away.