CIFAS sees attempted identity fraud hit high

01 February 2007
Cases of attempted identity frauds rose by 21.57 per cent to hit record levels in 2006, making 67,000 people in the UK victims of impersonation, the UK fraud protection service CIFAS has revealed.

But bank statements were only the third most popular documents used for identity theft purposes, after utility bills and passports, its research shows.

At the same time, CIFAS early detection rates also increased – 40 per cent more attempted identity frauds were uncovered by CIFAS before the impersonator got to the stage of opening an account under the name they had assumed.

Improved detection rates meant that a higher proportion of the victims whose identities were stolen were protected from having money actually pilfered from their accounts, the fraud protection agency has stressed.

But despite positive trends in early detection, the Information Commissioner's Office earlier this week warned that as many as one third of people now throw away bank statements without shredding them while a slightly larger number – 35 per cent – risk exposing themselves to identity fraudsters by making online card payments without checking site security.

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