Home>Security>Cyber Crime>Cifas data reveals ID fraud victims in 60-plus age group rose by 25% in 2019
Home>Security>IT Security >Cifas data reveals ID fraud victims in 60-plus age group rose by 25% in 2019
Home>Security Matters>Security Matters>Cifas data reveals ID fraud victims in 60-plus age group rose by 25% in 2019

Cifas data reveals ID fraud victims in 60-plus age group rose by 25% in 2019

05 August 2020

THE LATEST research conducted by Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, has revealed that cases of identity fraud recorded to the Cifas National Fraud Database rose by nearly 20% in 2019, representing the sharpest rise in the last five years.

Identity fraud occurs when a person’s personal data is abused through applications, often to purchase a product, take out a loan or open a new account. This type of fraudulent conduct is often enabled by criminals posing as bank staff or other reputable organisations and targeting members of the public by e-mail, text or phone call and manipulating them into handing over personal and sensitive data.

The latest figures from the Cifas National Fraud Database show that identity fraud is steadily rising, with cases up 32% over the last five years. In 2019, there were 223,163 cases recorded. That’s an 18% increase when compared to the previous year and the largest rise in cases over a five-year period.

The majority of these cases involved financial products, with bank and credit cards accounting for nearly half (42%) of all those cases recorded. This was followed by bank accounts at 22% and loans at 10%.

The majority of victims of identity fraud were aged over 31. This is probably because they’re more likely have a better credit score when compared to their younger counterparts. However, it was victims aged over 61 where the sharpest rise occurred – up 22% in 2019 when compared to the previous year. This age group also had the highest proportion of victims of impersonation for plastic card products.

Devastating impact

Nick Downing, chief intelligence officer for Cifas, said: “Having your identity stolen can be devastating. Victims often suffer financial loss, damage to their credit rating and emotional distress. In many cases, people never find out how criminals obtained their details, while clearing things up afterwards can be costly and time-consuming.”

Offering some salient advice, Downing observed: “Never share personal or financial details on e-mail, texts or over the phone and provide as little information about yourself on social media as possible. Remember that fraudsters are always on the hunt for any information they can use to steal someone’s identity. Always ensure that you keep your personal information personal.”

Ashley Hart, head of fraud for TSB, commented: “Fraudsters thrive on numerous platforms, working hard to trick personal information out of innocent people, which is often the first step in a fraud. Tricks such as fake online quizzes on social media and fictitious job offers on job boards are becoming increasingly common.”

Hart continued: “Educating and supporting victims of identity fraud is vitally important, but being cautious online and treating every call, text and e-mail out of the blue with suspicion will go a long way towards keeping your identity safe. Using different and unique passwords for your e-mail account and your online banking will help to limit the damage caused by a data breach elsewhere.”