The rise of synthetic identity fraud

Across the Pond a new form of fraud has come to the surface. It’s the fastest growing and hardest-to-detect form of identity theft according to the U.S federal trade Commission and last year it cost $800 million in credit card loses alone. Not to mention the mortgages, finance deals and loans that were fraudulently obtained. Unsurprisingly, therefore, scammers in the UK are picking up tips from our transatlantic neighbours and instances of this type of fraud are becoming more prevalent on our shores.  

So what is this new fraud? It’s called synthetic-identity fraud and it is carried out by creating fictitious identities by stitching together a concoction of disparate data such as birthdates, names, addresses, passport numbers etc. from different people. High-tech fraudsters armed with this real personal information on good consumers apply with multiple identities for multiple products with multiple lenders within hours or days. When criminals use a blend of different people's data, as well as some entirely made up information, it becomes harder for organisations to detect the fraud. It becomes even harder when criminals use the personal data of people that have passed away.  Moreover, synthetic-identity fraud can be a long-play crime with reports of fraudsters ‘nurturing’ and bedding-in an identity for five years before activating it to obtain credit.

For more information on how you can protect your business against deceased synthetic-identity fraud please give us a call on 01274 53 88 21