Data driven crime hits record levels

The latest Fraudscape Bulletin, which analyses records of the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service (CIFAS), shows that over the last year fraudulent activity has reached new highs.

£· 130,706 confirmed frauds were recorded to the National Fraud Database by CIFAS Members in the first half of 2012; a 5% increase from the second half of 2011.

£· Identity Fraud now accounts for 50% of all fraud.

£· Account takeover frauds constitute 15% of all frauds, meaning that nearly two thirds of all frauds (65%) now relate directly to the abuse of identity details

£· Fraudulent misuse of an account by the account holder constitutes 20% of all frauds, demonstrating that the economic conditions facing many continue to have a knock-on effect in terms of fraudulent actions.

£· Bank accounts and plastic card accounts (e.g. credit or store cards) remain the most popular options for fraudsters; though bank account fraud has decreased by 13% while plastic card fraud increased by 15% during the first half of 2012 when compared with the previous six month period.

CIFAS Communications Manager, Richard Hurley, comments: “CIFAS has long highlighted that data is the cornerstone of the fraudster’s trade.

“But with nearly two thirds of all recorded fraud now relating to the abuse of identity details, the message is clearer than ever before.

“Organisations and individuals must develop new ways of safeguarding their personal data, account log in details and more.”

Mr Hurley said that easily compromised data essentially provides a licence to steal.

Initiatives such as chip and pin have improved security for online transactions but in spite of this bank account and plastic cards remain the most popular targets for fraudsters. 

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