Identity fraud down but still ‘uncomfortably high’

Fighting ID fraud is 'everyone's job'
Fighting ID fraud is 'everyone's job'

Identity fraud has fallen for the first time since 2014 but remains “uncomfortably high” as more personal information is available online, according to a report.

Fraud prevention body Cifas recorded a 5% drop in identity fraud in the first half of this year compared to the same time last year, with the number of cases falling from 89,199 to 84,463.

The figures show a 12% fall in the volume of bank accounts being targeted by identity fraudsters, and a 34% drop in attempts to obtain mobile phone contracts.

However there has been a sharp 12% rise in fraudsters applying for plastic card accounts, while identity fraud against online retail accounts has risen by 24%.

Despite the overall reduction, identity fraud still makes up more than half of all fraud recorded by Cifas, with 87% of cases perpetrated online.

Cifas said victims may not even realise that they have been targeted until a bill arrives for something they did not buy or they experience problems with their credit rating.

“With identity fraud remaining uncomfortably high, more personal information available online, and increasing numbers of data breaches, the protection of personal data must be viewed as a collective responsibility,” said Cifas director of strategy, policy and insight Sandra Peaston.