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ID and data fraud on the rise as criminals discover new targets

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In 2017, the cases of identity theft in the UK increased to its highest level yet with almost 175,000 cases recorded. This colossal number shows that fraud has risen by 125% in the last 10 years. Over a third of bank account take over victims were over 60 years old. These statistics also correspond with the vast increase of young adults taking on the form as money mules. A money mule is somebody who puts illegally earned money into a legitimate bank account by transferring it into and out of their legal account in return. 11% of British bank accounts were identified as being used as “mule” accounts. However, the largest concern of these statistics is how the fraudsters are moving towards softer targets to discover new ways of stealing money.

Fortunately some targets are becoming harder to crack and many of these sectors such as telecoms and insurance are finding new ways to detect more fraud attempts. As fraudsters discover that their attempts to crack these products become more difficult, the real question arises to how and where will they target next?

Fraudsters are constantly discovering new ways to steal data and identity, mainly focusing on easier targets such as the younger and elderly generations of the UK. For example information from young people has a higher value as earnings increase and people invest in more financial products. Social media is also easily abused by fraudsters because the complexity of personal information available on someone’s account gives them a vast pool of data they can use to steal that person’s identity and the younger generation need to be made aware of this as it’s become clear passwords are no longer enough. The volume of fraud in the UK is disturbingly high and more needs to be done to reduce its consistency this could include greater collaboration between industry, government and law enforcement. 

Source: The Independent online. Friday 20th April 2018

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