Impersonation fraud cases climb by almost 50 per cent in first half of 2009

News by SC Staff

Account takeover fraud is continuing to grow with over 52,000 victims of impersonation.

Account takeover fraud is continuing to grow with over 52,000 victims of impersonation.

According to the latest report from the UK fraud prevention service CIFAS, there has been a 43 per cent jump in the number of victims of impersonation, a 74 per cent increase in identity fraud compared with the same period in 2008 and a continued rise in facility takeover frauds.

The 74 per cent increase in the level of identity fraud, which includes both victims of impersonation and the creation of a fictitious identity by the fraudster, indicates that while this period of recession has revealed new methods of fraud, fraudsters return to 'old favourites' with a vengeance.

The report claimed that fraudsters are looking to swindle individuals and companies alike, with forged or altered UK passports the most commonly used document in support of fraudulent applications.

CIFAS chief executive Peter Hurst claimed that the human cost of facility takeovers cannot be underestimated, as they attack a victim's sense of security and undermines their confidence.

Hurst said: “The recession has an impact throughout society. Fraudsters will not let this stop them, however, whether they are acting out of personal desperation or more sinister, organised, aims.

“The rise in the numbers of victims, and these very specific types of fraud demonstrate that fraudsters have no regard for economic, social and personal fragility. While we all look for solutions to the hardships imposed by the current climate, however, these figures focus attention sharply on what responsible businesses and public sector organisations can achieve through sharing data on proven frauds to reduce losses and ease the burden of the recession upon us all.”

Phil D'Angio, director at VeriSign, said: “These latest figures show that account takeover is clearly a serious and growing problem. Recent research by YouGov shows that the vast majority (91 per cent) of us are concerned about identity theft, with 11 per cent of respondents feeling the need to use between 11 and 30 separate passwords to decrease the chance of fraud and identity theft. But setting up a plethora of different log-ins and passwords for every single account you control online can be time consuming – and requires a very good memory.

“We now live in a world where online threats are growing daily. Security is appearing ever higher on the consumer agenda, and businesses need to offer a safe environment to users of their services or customers will simply vote with their feet, and refuse to transact with them online. Strong authentication is one very efficient way of helping to prevent account takeover and ID theft, which can help to ease the security concerns of both consumers and businesses.”

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