nigel woollsey

Nigel Woollsey

Online Writer
Published: 01/10/2019

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.

First time buyer mortgage fraud

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.

Millennials the target of financial fraud

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.

Over 60s see 56% increase in fraud rates

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.

Ways to protect yourself against identity fraud

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:

  • Regularly check your credit report – there are a number of providers who can help you to check your credit report for free. If you see any activity or applications you don’t recognise you should report these straight-away to the credit check provider.
  • Be careful when responding to emails – don’t click links or download attachments, be wary of receiving unexpected emails from a financial or payments organisation – if in doubt don’t reply!
  • Don’t share your details on the phone – fraudsters often call individuals with the aim of accessing your bank account details. If you receive a call asking you to move your funds or to share personal information let them know you will call then back. Make sure that your phone line is clear before you call the organisation directly.
  • Check your post – make sure you go through the post you receive and report any suspicious mail to the lender.

You can also read our guide Six Security Rules to Keep Online Banking Safe.

Disclaimer

Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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