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Figures reveal the bleak and complex reality of fraud in the UK today

At the end of the third quarter of 2010, data provided by the 265 Member organisations of CIFAS – the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, demonstrates that fraud remains rife


Figures reveal the bleak and complex reality of fraud in the UK today

The main findings show that despite a slight decrease from the same period last year, nearly 168,000 confirmed cases of fraud were recorded in the first 9 months of 2010.

Facility takeover fraud (when a fraudster, rather than impersonating a victim, secretly hijacks and plunders a victim's accounts) remained high, with over 16,000 confirmed cases. Products targeted by fraudsters demonstrate how fraud adapts to economic conditions and the continuing scourge of identity fraud, which now directly impacts more than 70,000 victims of impersonation (a 17.56% increase from the first three quarters of 2009).
CIFAS Communications Manager, Richard Hurley, said,“CIFAS has previously commented upon the increases in acility takeover fraud,and warned that this was more than just a change in tactic for organised fraudsters to get them through a period of recession. With the continued prevalence of spam in people’s email inboxes, and the increasing sophistication of the phishing emails being received, it is perhaps no surprise that the level of this type of fraud remains as high this year as it was last year.”

He continued,“The increasing attention given to certain products by fraudsters, as opposed to the more ‘traditional’ targets of bank and card accounts, demonstrates that fraudsters turn their attentions to where they believe greater success can be achieved (such as in areas where less stringent account opening procedures are required). As CIFAS revealed in Digital Thieves, fraudsters are increasingly using the internet as an enabler for their crimes. What can be clearly seen is that the decrease in application frauds and surge in identity fraud means that fraud methods are fundamentally changing: with over 10,000 more people affected this year than in the same period last year.
“As attention turns to ensuring the UK’s economic recovery, it raises the question as to what further damage could be wreaked when businesses feel more confident to lend, and fraudsters start trying to exploit innocent identities in order to gain bank accounts, credit cards and much more.”

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