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ID fraud soars to record levels – as fraudsters use new insurance trick to imitate victims

Source: The Telegraph

Date: 23/8/17

Insurance ID fraud is soaring to “epidemic levels” amid warnings that criminals are applying for bogus policies in order to build up detailed profiles of victims.

New data from Cifas, a fraud prevention service, shows identity fraud rose to an all time high in the first six months of 2017.

A record 89,000 identity frauds were recorded, up 5 per cent from last year, it said.

ID theft is now so common it represents over half of all fraud recorded, it said, with 83 per cent of cases perpetrated online.

Over the past year there has been a 10,000 percentage  point increase in insurance fraud, where a criminal takes out a policy in someone else’s name. In the first half of 2016 there were just 20 cases compared to 2,070 in the first half of 2017.

Fraud experts at Cifas said obtaining insurance policies was a new trick being used by fraudsters in their bid to build up a detailed enough profile of someone to use their ID in order to steal from them.

Yesterday this newspaper revealed that Millenials are more likely than pensioners to be targeted by fraudsters for the first time, because they don’t bother to check their bank statements.

Analysis of millions of credit files by credit checking firm, Experian, found people in their mid to late 20s have overtaken over 60s as the most likely age group to fall victim to fraud.

Simon Dukes, Chief Executive, Cifas said: “We have seen identity fraud attempts increase year on year, now reaching epidemic levels, with identities being stolen at a rate of almost 500 a day.

“These frauds are taking place almost exclusively online. The vast amounts of personal data that is available either online or through data breaches is only making it easier for the fraudster.

“Criminals are relentlessly targeting consumers and businesses and we must all be alert to the threat and do more to protect personal information.

“For smaller and medium-sized businesses in particular, they must focus on educating staff on good cyber security behaviours and raise awareness of the social engineering techniques employed by fraudsters.  Relying solely on new fraud prevention technology is not enough.”