Identity fraud levels increase despite rise of awareness and increased education

News by Dan Raywood

Fraud is on the rise as awareness of identity theft increases among the public.

Fraud is on the rise as awareness of identity theft increases among the public.

A report published this week by CIFAS revealed that identity fraud rose by 22 per cent over the first six months of 2010, which CIFAS attributed to the recession. It also admitted that although awareness about ID fraud is improving, it is highly likely that incidents will continue to rise in the future to become a larger percentage of total fraud cases.

The report also found that there were more than 50,200 recorded victims of impersonation in the first six months of this year, with an average of more than 275 instances of ID fraud a day. Although ID fraud increased, levels of fraud generally decreased by three per cent in January to June compared with the previous year.

Commenting Christian Brindley, security expert at VeriSign, said that while consumers are increasingly aware of the rise of identity fraud cases, it is still very easy to fall victim to it.

He said: “Recent YouGov research commissioned by VeriSign found that 79 per cent of consumers would like better systems in place to protect them against identity theft, and 81 per cent would not make a transaction on a website that doesn't protect their identity.

“At this stage, every website should have installed robust measures to protect their customers' security – and even that alone isn't enough. Customers have to know that if they input their personal and financial details into a website, they're going to be safe. If they can't see evidence that a website is protecting them, often in their eyes there is nothing to differentiate it from a scam site.

David Divitt, fraud solutions consultant at ACI Worldwide, said: “I agree that there is a challenge with it. Identity theft is different to the risk from being targeted, but there is so much information on the internet, shredding stuff is ten to 15 years old and now there is a ton of information available.”

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