Incidents of identity fraud in the UK grew by as much as 8 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year and touched 190,000 for the first time ever, Cifas, the UK’s national identity prevention service has revealed in its latest report.
According to Cifas' Fraudscape 2019 report, while overall incidents of identity fraud in the UK increased by 8% compared to 2017, rising from 174,523 cases to 189,108 cases in the period, London continued to remain the identity fraud hotspot- accounting for 53,016 incidents of fraud followed by the South East with 26,597 incidents.
An alarming statistic in Cifas' Fraudscape 2019 report is that the targeting of plastic cards by fraudsters registered an increase of 41 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. The report also indicated that fraudsters are most inclined towards targeting those over 60 years of age, with over 33,000 people over the age of 60 becoming victims of impersonation fraud in 2018.
"The substantial increase in the targeting of older people for identity fraud is a real cause for concern," said Cifas, adding that many individuals over the age of 60 are new to the online world and it is easy for fraudsters to dupe them into sharing their personal and financial information over the Internet through phishing attacks and other methods.
"There is clearly a requirement to provide educational messaging properly tailored to, and targeted at, older age groups to help them recognise and protect themselves from the risks fraudsters pose. This will be key to helping older age groups to safeguard their personal information online," Cifas recommended while also noting that the number of victims over the 60 of 60 rose by 34 percent in 2018 over the previous year.