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Identity fraud rockets 15 October 2010

The figure, which was released in a report by CIFAS, was a 9.68 per cent increase on the number of cases recorded at the same time last year.

Meanwhile CIFAS members also reported 70,000 cases of impersonation during the first nine months of this year, an 18.38 per cent rise on 2009.

The fraud prevention service warned in its report that the internet continued to pose the highest risk for instances of attempted fraud against consumer identities or bank accounts.

Richard Hurley, communications manager for CIFAS, said: "The internet has revolutionised our lives. From the way we shop, bank or conduct business - through to how we keep in contact with friends and family.

"The blessings it brings to users, however, are offset by the anonymity it offers to fraudsters. Criminals no longer need physical access to your details in order to attack your sense of self and well-being, as they will also target you in the digital domain."

CIFAS also revealed that south east London, south west London and east London were the most significant fraud hotspots in the UK by postcode, with Birmingham being the fraudsters location of choice for identity fraud and account takeover activity outside London.

A statement in the CIFAS report said: "The bad news is that instances of identity fraud have been increasing over the last few years. More people are being victimised.

"One reason for the increase is the availability to fraudsters of large quantities of personal details. Some of this data will have entered the criminal domain through staff fraud (company employees either paid or coerced into disclosing to criminals the personal details of customers or other staff members). The majority, however, are likely to be as a result of the compromise of personal data over the internet."

To this end CIFAS also warned that fraudsters were happy to take the personal details of whoever is deceived by phishing scams, or whose computer protection can’t keep up with those creating the malware.

To read the full report, which includes a map detailing the risk of identity fraud by region, visit:




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