Recent research by credit experts, Experian UK, has revealed that financial fraud has risen by 14% this year. In a worrying trend criminals are now turning their attention to younger people who have just bought their first home.
Figures released show that fraud against younger people, who have bought their first homes in affordable suburbs, increased by 35% in the first half of the year. It is speculated that people in these households may have physical mailboxes that are accessible to fraudsters, or that their information has been compromised in a data breach. In scams of this type, the fraudsters can use personal information to make fraudulent applications for other forms of credit, with the victim often being unaware that anything is wrong until they are contacted by lenders regarding missed payments.
Overall, millennials have the highest risk of being defrauded as a proportion of the population. People aged 25-34 are 78% more likely to be the target of fraud, based on population size. Many people of this age live in flats with communal mail areas, where fraudsters can intercept the plastic cards needed to commit fraud without being detected.
In the first six months of 2019 fraud rates for the over 60s increased by 56% compared to the same period last year. Those aged 50 to 59 also saw an increase of 35%. According to Experian’s research the largest contributor to these increases was in debit and credit card fraud, which rose 60% during the same time frame when compared to 2018.
Identity fraud is when a fraudster obtains your personal data and uses this to open credit, such as a loan or credit card in your name. Keeping your personal information secure is vital to protect yourself from identity fraud.
Nick Mothershaw, director of identity and fraud solutions at Experian UK&I, said: “Fraud carries a huge emotional cost for its victims, while genuine customers can become frustrated with the added expense and inconvenience to their customer journey.
“Our statistics show that while we are uncovering a new incident every 15 seconds, fraudsters continue to find new ways of separating people and organisations from their money. It is critical people think about where their post is stored and are aware of how data breaches can affect them.” Experian has developed machine learning technologies to help lenders identify potentially fraudulent credit applications, however individuals should remain vigilant in protecting their personal data. Some good ideas include:
You can also read our guide Six Security Rules to Keep Online Banking Safe.
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