Identity theft is reaching “epidemic levels,” says U.K. fraud prevention group Cifas, with people in their 30s the most targeted group. A total of 89,000 cases were recorded in the first six months of the year, a 5 percent increase over the same period last year and a new record. “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,” said Cifas CEO Simon Dukes. “The vast amounts of personal data that is available either online or through data breaches is only making it easier.” ID theft accounts for more than half the fraud that Cifas records. More than four in five crimes were committed online, with many victims unaware that they had been targeted until they received a bill or realized their credit rating had fallen. Fraudsters steal identities by gathering name, address, date of birth and bank account details, often by stealing mail, hacking computers, trawling social media, tricking people into giving details, or buying data through the dark web. Cifas said the latest figures show there has been a sharp rise in fraudsters applying for loans, online retail, telecoms and insurance products. Sources: BBC News, Huffington Post U.K.
By Byron Acohido August 25, 2017