UK ID fraud victims up 36% in 2009


UK ID fraud victims up 36% in 2009

Warwick Ashford

More than 59,000 people in the UK were victims of identify fraud in the past year, research has revealed.

This represents an increase of 36% on the same period in 2008, according to research by UK fraud prevention service CIFAS.

The report, released today to mark the start of National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, also shows account takeovers have increased 23% in the past year.

More than 50% of account takeovers have targeted victims' credit and debit card accounts, the research showed.

This demonstrates that identity fraud is becoming more prevalent and that knowledge about it and how to prevent it is not as widespread as it should be, the report said.

Peter Hurst, chief executive of CIFAS, said fraud is an insidious crime that affects consumers and businesses financially as well as in terms of reputation and trust.

"In partnership with other industry participants, this report lays bare the facts. It is only through such collaboration that the continued fight against fraud can be won," he said.

Fraud prevention a shared responsibility and must also become a shared duty across both private and public sectors, said Hurst.

The research showed 64% of people still throw sensitive documents away without shredding them and 12% used the internet without having any security software.

Only 21% of people regularly check their credit report and 55% do not check on expected document to ensure they have not been intercepted by fraudsters.

National Identity Fraud Prevention Week is supported by CIFAS, the Metropolitan Police, National Fraud Authority, the Home Office's Identity and Passport Service, and a number of business groups and the credit reference agencies.

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