Cifas

Why identity theft is critical.

March 4th, 2013

A UK-based Fraud Prevention Service, Cifas made it apparent that the deceptive use of stolen or fictitious identity details is the biggest of all fraud threats. In a Fraud trend review revealed in 2012, it has been acknowledged that 50% of all fraud cases during the year relate to the use of completely false identities or impersonation of an innocent victim. Account takeover fraud, a kind where a fraudster get advantage of account access and commands an active running account through data theft with the help of data security details rocketed by 53% more as compared with the earlier records to 38,428 incidents. Personal information of a user are stolen with the help of computer hacking and social engineering techniques through popular websites and various other methods. Fraudulent acts, where the criminal requires identity informations accounts for about 65% of all the committed frauds in 2012. The total number of people affected by this identity fraud was up by 24% from the levels in 2011. Cifas, Head of communications Kate Beddington-Brown said, “These increases serve as a warning and a challenge to organisations and consumers equally.”

Despite the heavy investments made by various organisations in data security to ensure additional steps must be taken to validate user’s identity, the crimes relating to identity have continued rising, demonstrates that more must be done, she said. “For individuals, it is obvious that fraud relating to personal data is an immense criminal trade so, fundamentally, we all have to do all we can to ensure that we also protect ourselves from becoming a victim, as well as demanding that the organisations we deal with take their security responsibilities seriously,” said Beddington-Brown.

Cifas chief executive Peter Hurst said fraud prevention remains better than cure. He also said, “It is time for all organisations and consumers to start reviewing their approaches to preventing fraud rather than just dealing with its effects.” “Investment in proper fraud prevention systems and approaches, from online security to data sharing, and education are the cornerstones of such an approach. Without them, the only thing that is guaranteed is an ever increasing fraud losses to organisations and society at large, he said.

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