Fraudsters get smarter as identity theft reaches industrial scale

Cases where fraudsters posed as customers to get control of accounts soared by nearly 50% last year, according to a Cifas report.

Fraudsters get smarter as identity theft reaches industrial scale

This type of crime – described by fraud prevention service Cifas as facility takeover – and identity theft remains the most widespread of all fraud threats, comprising 60 percent of all 325,000 cases recorded in 2016.

Facility takeovers increased by 45 percent last year in a sign that, as firms beef up the security of their systems, criminals are instead targeting individuals and tricking them into revealing personal details.

Cifas added that fraudsters in these instances are collating personal data in various ways, such as through data breaches, social media footprints and other open source information.

Cifas chief executive Simon Dukes said: “We know that as one method gets harder, fraudsters change tactic rather than stop.

“Using old-fashioned but highly-effective con artistry, they are tricking individuals into giving away their personal details and deceiving call centre staff into making transactions on their victims’ accounts.”