UK Identity Theft and Cyber Fraud reaches its highest record level

July 25, 2019
UK Identity Theft and Cyber Fraud | Identity Fraud Prevention

As the years passed by, the rate of identity fraud and cyber fraud around UK rapidly increased causing to reach its highest record level this year. Researchers identified over 300,000 cases of fraudulent conduct recorded to the National Fraud Database in 2017, with data drawn from 306 organizations, including many major UK brands.Although these incidents were 6% fewer than in 2016, the new figures show concerning increases in some areas. Cumbersomely, according to the 2019 Fraud scape report, identity fraud has now reached a record level, hitting an all-time high of 174,523 cases in 2017 which has an increase of 1% from 2016. 95% of these cases involved the impersonation of an innocent victim.


Although the increase in identity theft fraud was only 1 % up compared with 2016, it is a 125% increase on the figure for 2007.


According to the researchers’ findings, it was revealed that out of 10 fraudulent applications, 8 applications were made online. Also, there was a 27% increase in 14-24 years old becoming ‘money mules’. Overall bank accounts identified as being used as ‘mule’ accounts were up by 11%. Cybercriminals encouraged individuals to transfer funds for them in exchange for a payment, or they deceived individuals through promising easy cash. Other key findings are that more than a third of bank account takeover victims were over 60-years-old. Fortunately, organizations successfully prevented over £1.3 billion in fraud losses through non-competitive data sharing.

Researchers found out that cybercriminals’ have this “retargeting” scheme which can be seen as a shift towards exploiting more accessible products such as mobile phone contracts, online retail accounts, retail credit loans and short-term loans, all of which are less likely to be subject to the same strict checks as bank accounts and credit cards.

Researchers said in a statement that it is clear up from this year, 2019, fraud in the UK continues to evolve, and as some targets become harder to crack, criminals turn to what they consider softer targets. Fortunately, many of these sectors, such as telecoms and insurance, share their fraud data through a not-for-profit identity fraud prevention membership organization and are detecting more fraud attempts. As fraudsters see their attempts to obtain these products become more difficult, the question will arise about what they will target next.

Researchers gives some advice to individuals to help protect themselves from financial fraud. Users must never disclose any security details, such as PIN or full password, as it’s never right to reveal these details.Users must not assume an email request or caller to be legitimate, as people aren’t always who they say they are.A bank or genuine organization won’t mind waiting to give their customers time to stop and think, so users should not rush these processes. Also, it is always best to listen to our own instincts. So,if something feels wrong then it is usually right to pause and question it. Lastly, users must stay in control and have the confidence to refuse unusual requests for information.

We recommend that those affected organizations must tighten its fraud monitoring and identity theft prevention measures to ensure that sensitive data are safe from malicious hackers.


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