The UK’s Fraud Prevention CIFAS have identified a 10% increase in cases of confirmed fraud across their membership.
Whilst this is a worrying trend the increase may be in part due to improved detection techniques, and increased fraud awareness, helping to reveal more frauds that had previously escaped undetected.
There was a 73% increase in the number of cases where an account was taken over by criminals and a 16.5% increase in identity fraud.
65% of all frauds now relate directly to the misuse of identity details.
The fact that this increase has been driven by just two specific types of fraud, highlights the challenges facing organisations in the UK.
CIFAS Communications Manager, Richard Hurley, said: “For individuals and businesses, data and information play a key, central role every day.
“The fact that it is this same data that fraudsters use more and more can only serve as a stark indicator that a significant review of how we all conduct business is overdue.
“Otherwise, we will effectively hand criminals the keys to our bank accounts and finances.”
Fraud is frequently thought of as a victimless crime, but Mr Hurley said these figures must end that assumption: “There have been over 115,000 frauds with an identifiable victim recorded by CIFAS Members during 2012 so far.
“This is nearly 30,000 more victims in 2012 to date than in the same period in 2011.
“For victims, the cost is not just financial: it is the time taken to sort the mess out and also the worry caused by not knowing how the fraudster managed to steal their details.”
Mr Hurley urges individuals to be careful whilst stressing organisations have an obligation to review their security and verification processes and invest more in preventing fraud.