Identity fraud up 17% since last quarter

29 April 2006
According to statistics from the CIFAS fraud prevention database, identity fraud showed a quarter-on-quarter increase of 17 per cent.

This figure represents over 16,000 individuals who have been a victim of what CIFAS chief executive Peter Hurst calls a "pernicious crime".

By using the database, financial institutions that are members of the scheme were able to detect many more fraudulent applications for such things as insurance claims, asset conversions or credit cards before they were awarded.

Fraud detected and prevented at application stage is up from around 50 per cent in 2005 to around two-thirds in 2006, proving that the CIFAS system has been a success so far.

Commenting on the results, Mr Hurst said: "While it is pleasing for our members that so many cases are detected in advance, the continued threat of identity fraud is very worrying for individuals.

"Every impersonation involves an innocent victim," he continued. "Many have already been the subject of street crime, burglary or assault and had personal documents stolen."

The total losses to the UK economy and to individuals as a result of fraud are significant and so financial institutions and individual victims welcome any successful weapons in the fight to deter or prevent the crime being committed.

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