Identity fraud on the increase again

The level of confirmed fraud scenarios has increased throughout the first three financial quarters of this year, driven by a surge in criminals taking over banking accounts. The UK fraud prevention service, CIFAS, stated that there has been a ten percent increase in fraudulent activities during the first nine months of this year compared to 2011 during the same time period.

CIFAS stated that the rise is the result of a 72% increase in account takeover fraud; which includes instances when fraudsters break into or steal a victim’s personal details in order to hijack a bank account or credit account. In addition, identity fraud was also on the rise up almost 17% compared to 2011.

Communications manager for CIFAS, Richard Hurley, stated that there have been more than 115,000 fraudulent activities performed thus far in 2012 during just the first nine months. He added that this is almost 30,000 more victims than during the first nine months of 2011.

Hurley went on to explain that for victims the costs are not just financial because it takes a great deal of time to sort out the mess left behind by identity fraud. In addition there is a lot of worry caused by the randomness of the entire affair.

Out of all of the fraud types that were committed in 2012, about two-thirds were directly related to identity fraud making it the most popular fraudulent activity. As a result, Hurley urged individuals and organizations to carefully review their security practices to reduce fraud.