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Identity fraud up by 25%


Recorded identity theft fraud has risen dramatically, with 2014 seeing a 25% increase on 2013, according to fraud prevention service Cifas.

Sophisticated identity theft rose throughout 2014, with men aged 46 years old most likely to be the victim of fraud, research from Cifas showed. The areas most likely to see identity theft were London, Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow.

The research also found that identify theft in young people is rising, as they are more likely to regularly use technology and access financial products online.

As security has improved, those committing fraud have changed their tactics. Fraudsters are now more likely to use someone’s personal information to create accounts to apply for credit cards and loans online to steal money, rather than gain access to an already existing account.

Simon Dukes, chief executive of Cifas, said:
"The frauds we are recording point to increasingly sophisticated, predatory and organised criminals. This is crime at an industrial scale."

Nick Mothershaw, of credit reference agency Experian, said:
"The figures released today emphasise just how much of a threat fraud still is to lenders and their customers, especially as more people apply for financial products across multiple channels, including online and mobile."

If you feel like you might have been the victim of identity theft, please ring Action Fraud, the National Fraud and Cyber Crime Reporting Centre on 0300 123 2040 or visit their website here.

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