Link found between social media usage and identity fraud

A new study reveals a correlation between social media usage and identity fraud. People that are heavy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users are more likely to fall victim to identity fraudsters.

Ofcom research shows that 90 per cent of adults in the UK now use the internet with more than three quarters having a presence on social media or messaging sites and apps. The report revealed that senior citizens and under 21s were the most vulnerable groups to identity fraud due to their naivety about posting personal details online. This unawareness results in the ability for fraudsters to piece enough information together to steal their identity.  The study shows that their details were being used primarily for payday loans and mobile phone contracts.

Additionally it was found that personal information had not just been stolen from profiles that were currently used, but also from profiles that were no longer in use but had not been deactivated and deleted. Such profiles are often forgotten about, but remain in the public domain, revealing a wealth of personal information. This is particularly true of people that have sadly passed away. Their information lives on and is highly valued by fraudsters because deceased identity fraud (stealing the identity of someone that has died) is more lucrative because it goes undetected for longer.


The rise of digital, social media profiles laden with personal information, and regular data breaches mean that our personal data is strewn across the web. It is now remarkably simple for criminals to get hold of everything they need to hack accounts or make fraudulent bank or loan applications meaning identity fraud is going to become even more of a problem moving forwards.