Identity fraud victims are increasingly being targeted at their current address, according to CIFAS.
CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, has reported that its members saw a 32% increase in identity fraud in 2009.
However, current address fraud (as a type of identity fraud) requires a greater level of sophistication from the identity fraudster. Rather than use details from a victim’s previous address, identity fraudsters impersonate their victims more successfully if they can obtain a full set of their victims’ details and attempt to impersonate them at their current address. This makes any application seem more legitimate and can help to make it much more difficult for businesses to detect fraud.
Current address fraud accounted for over 55% of all identity frauds recorded in 2009, but just 31% in 2008. The increase represents an alarming 78% in just 12 months. Nearly 85% of identity frauds committed against mail order accounts in 2009 were done this way. Bank accounts and communications also witnessed large scale rises. Most telling are those current address frauds committed against plastic card accounts such as credit cards. A 24% increase in current address fraud was recorded in 2009, compared with 2008, even though identity fraud (overall) decreased by 4% in the same year.
Richard Hurley, CIFAS communications manager, said: “Consumers must be increasingly aware and vigilant – and ensure that they protect all of their details. The rise in this more sophisticated kind of fraud can often be perpetrated by organised criminal networks exploiting our use of computers and the internet to obtain