According to a new Cifas’ report [Source], identity fraud reached record levels in 2016, with 88% of fraud committed online and the major target being young people.
Just under 25,000 victims of fraud were aged under 30, with the number of under-21s defrauded rising by a third.
The number of under-21s being defrauded rose from 1,343 in 2015 to 1,803 in 2016.
The report recorded statistics from 277 banks and businesses, highlighting that identity fraud continues to be the number one fraud threat in the UK.
Fraudsters have taken advantage of consumer reliance on digital services like online banking, shopping and social media.
Cifas strongly urges people to be more vigilant in protecting their own personal data.
Mike Haley, Cifas’ deputy chief executive, states that better education around fraud and financial crime is also essential in tackling the growing problem of identity theft.
“With nine out of ten identity frauds committed online and with all age groups at risk, we are urging everyone to make it more difficult for fraudsters to abuse their identity. There are three simple steps that anyone can take to protect themselves: use strong passwords, download software updates when prompted on your devices; and avoid using public wi-fi for banking and online shopping [Source].”
Regardless of your age, it is true that as a consumer you need to remain vigilant in protecting your own personal data from potential identity theft. However, businesses must also take responsibility in protecting their customer’s data from being compromised.
As an organisation, one way you can prevent identity theft is by knowing exactly who you are dealing with behind every transaction.
Whether it is a company or individual, you need to be confident that the data provided is correct and genuine before you make a decision about who you do business with.
However, confirmation of customer details isn’t just good business sense; it’s also the law.
Strict regulations and heavy fines exist in many industry sectors, and for those who fail to comply with regulation the financial and reputational damage can be considerable and hard to bounce back from.
As RegTech and compliance specialists, we work across industries developing technology solutions that enable our clients to simplify their due diligence checks, streamline operations and ultimately reduce their fraud risk.
Contego’ technology checks people, companies and ID documents in seconds – via a single API. Our breadth of data coverage and accuracy enables our clients to make crucial data-driven decisions, instantly, about who to do business with.
As Identity theft grows, there is a real and growing need to go beyond the required regulatory checks and perform extensive due diligence on all your customers, staff and suppliers, so you know exactly who you are doing business with.
If identity verification is important in your business and you’d like to help reduce your fraud risk and be ready to tackle increasing fraud threats, then get in touch with us today by calling +44 (0) 1235 375 000 or visit the Contego website to find out more and book an online demo.