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Cifas reports significant increase in fraudulent activity

Cifas, the UK fraud prevention service, has issued a report showing a 10% increase in overall fraud in 2009 compared to 2008. However, one alarming development is the 32% increase in ID fraud which many of us seem to ignore even though more and more of us are becoming victims. The report also confirms that the typical fraud victim is still a male in his 40s although criminal gangs are now starting to target women.

While online fraud has mushroomed during the recession with more and more people concerned about their ability to cover bills, mortgages, etc there has also been an increase in detection levels. It would appear that tighter lending criteria in UK banking arena appears to have flushed out a number of unsuccessful fraud attempts and allowed the authorities to monitor the situation more closely.

However, before we all sit back and assume that the worst is over there is no doubt that the Internet has opened up a whole new world for fraudsters and con artist around the world. They are now able to set up websites, send e-mails and gain an array of private information from online sources which they can use to perpetrate their frauds. We need to be aware that giving away even the slightest piece of private information could be lethal in the wrong hands and open many of us up to the threat of fraud.

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