Britain is one of the hottest nations for identity fraud

News by SC Staff

Identity fraud costs the economy more than £1 billion annually with Britain one of the hot spots.

Identity fraud costs the economy more than £1 billion annually with Britain one of the hot spots.


At the end of National ID Fraud Awareness Week, VeCommerce has offered a ‘top ten' list of personal security breaches. In a statement, it called for UK citizens need to be cautious in handling their personal identity security and businesses need to provide adequate protection for customers against fraud.


1. Data thieves who broke into the computer system of a supermarket chain, stealing 4.2 million credit and debit card details.


2. 38,000 credit cards were compromised when the website of an e-tailer was hacked.


3. A hacker breached the security system of an international hotel chain and stole the personal details, including home addresses, phone numbers, place of employment and credit card information, of eight million people that had stayed with the hotel during the past 12 months.


4. The personal details of 25 million people were compromised when two discs containing the information compiled by a government department were lost in the post.


5. The details of thousands of prisoners were left on a memory stick which was stolen from an unlocked desk of a consultant working for an organisation contracted to the prison service.


6. A computer containing the personal details of millions of people was sold on an auction site. The computer had belonged to a data processing company and had been sold without being cleaned.


7. A Navy officer had his car broken into and his laptop stolen. The computer contained over 500,000 military records including financial details and passport numbers.


8. A government department lost the details of three million learner drivers when a disc containing their personal information was mislaid in a foreign country.


9. A major financial institution lost the records of over 350,000 of its customers when a disc containing the information was lost in the post between two offices.


10. Jeremy Clarkson, talk show host of the UK program, “Top Gear” claimed that no one could debit money from his bank account after he publicised his bank account numbers. Shortly afterwards someone had accessed the account and made a £500 direct debit to charity and the host ran for cover!


Brett Feldon, EMEA general manager at VeCommerce commented: “There is no doubt that both consumers and businesses must be more vigilant when it comes to protecting themselves against ID fraud.  Individuals still need to be more careful about the risks associated with divulging personal details whereas organisations need to consider implementing more sophisticated methods of authenticating a person's identity.


“Finding alternative methods to verify whether someone is who they say they are will in particular help to address CNP (card not present) fraud which has seen a dramatic rise in the last 12 months.”


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