Identity fraud in the UK at ‘epidemic’ levels as cases rise 5%

by | Aug 25, 2017 | Business Telecom Services, Security

With identity fraud attempts increasing year on year, they’ve now reached epidemic levels, accounting for more than half of all fraud reported.


In a report released by Fraud prevention firm Cifas, 89,000 cases of identify fraud were recorded in the first six months of 2017, up 5 per cent higher on the previous year.

According to Simon Dukes, chief executive of Cifas, the majority of identity fraud happens online (83%).

The figures from the report show a sharp rise in identity fraudsters applying for loans, online retail, telecoms and insurance products. Despite a fall in the number of identity fraud attempts against bank accounts and plastic cards, these still account for more than half of all identity fraud cases.

Most of the cases of identity fraud occur in the 31-40 and 41-50 age brackets (24 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively). However, there was an increase in the number of under 21’s being hit compare with last year (up from 684 cases to 1023 cases).

With vast amounts of data now being held online, it is no surprise identity fraud is increasing, particularly given the number of recent data breaches we have seen.

Head of the City of London Police’s Economic Crime Directorate, Detective Superintendent Glenn Maleary said:

“The figures show that both businesses and consumers are targeted and it is therefore important that people commit to protecting themselves in all aspects of their lives. Be careful who you give your information to, always consider whether it is necessary to part with those details. Cyber security is becoming increasingly important and we urge everyone both at home and at work to ensure that they have the right security settings on all of their devices.

“We urge consumers and businesses to be conscious of identify fraudsters and to use our protection advice to help stop them in their tracks. We continue to work with banks, retailers and other members of industry to disrupt fraudsters activity however we also realise it is our responsibility to help advise consumers and businesses around these types of issues. We urge anyone who is interested in finding out about the latest fraud trends to sign up to our Action Fraud alerts.”

Dukes added:

“For smaller and medium-sized businesses in particular, they must focus on educating staff on good cybersecurity behaviours and raise awareness of the social-engineering techniques employed by fraudsters. Relying solely on new fraud prevention technology is not enough.”

According to the Communications Fraud Control Association’s (CFCA) Telecoms Fraud Survey Toll Fraud in the UK costs businesses £1.2 billion each year and the UK is the third most targeted country in the world. However, it is a threat to which many businesses don’t truly understand or defend themselves against.

For peace of mind, and to find out more about how MF Telecom Services can provide 24/7 business cyber security against future attacks, please email us for more information or call 01892 577577 and ask to speak to one of our UK business consultants.