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Cifas reveals cases of identity fraud up by nearly a third over last five years

23 June 2020
  • 2019 saw highest ever number of identity fraud cases reported to Cifas National Fraud Database. 

Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has revealed that cases of identity fraud rose by 18% in 2019 compared to the previous year – the highest ever increase recorded on the Cifas National Fraud Database.

Identity fraud occurs when a fraudster abuses personal data to impersonate an innocent party, or creates a fictitious identity, often to open a new account or obtain a product.

Identity fraud has been steadily rising over the last five years, with recorded cases in 2019 up a staggering 32% when compared to 2015. This type of fraud accounts for the majority – 61% – of all cases recorded to the National Fraud Database by Cifas members.

The large majority of identity fraud cases (42%) were committed to obtain a debit or credit card, closely followed by a bank account (22%), with almost all of these cases taking place online.

Mike Haley, CEO of Cifas, said: ‘In an increasingly digital world, there is a growing need to improve the way we protect our personal information as we know that if it falls into the wrong hands, the consequences can be devastating.  

‘One of the most common methods used to access people’s data is by sending an email or text pretending to be a bank or service provider. With this in mind, we need to be vigilant of who we share our information with, in the same way that service providers need to ensure that they are dealing with the right person and take all necessary actions to protect people’s personal information. Only by working together can we effectively take action against the growing problem of fraud.’

ENDS

For more information contact:

Corinne Gladstone
Head of Communications, Cifas
T: +44 (0)20 3004 3654
E: corinne.gladstone@cifas.org.uk

Notes to editors

Reported Identity Fraud over the last five years:

Year

Nos. of cases

2015

169,592

2016

172,918

2017

174,523

2018

189,108

2019

223,163


These figures were release from the upcoming publication of Fraudscape which reports the detail of all cases of fraud reported to the Cifas National Fraud Database, and will be published later this year.

For more advice on preventing fraud visit the Take Five website.

About Cifas

Cifas is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation that protects businesses and individuals through effective and secure data and intelligence sharing between the private, public and third sectors. In 2018, Cifas member organisations prevented over £1.4 billion of fraud losses.

Cifas data is included in the Office of National Statistics England and Wales Crime Statistics of police recorded crime and works alongside law enforcement agencies in tackling fraud.

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Posted by: Cifas Press Team
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Posted by: Cifas Press Team

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