According to not-for-profit fraud prevention membership organisation Cifas, there were a record number of identity fraud cases in the first six months of the year and many cases included fraudsters applying for insurance products.
A Sharp Rise in Identity Fraud
In the first six months of 2017, 89,000 cases of fraud were recorded and identity fraud accounted for 56% of cases. That's 5% up on the same period last year. 83% of identity frauds were perpetrated online with the most commonly targeted victims being aged 31 to 50. However, the largest increase year-on-year (49.6%) can be seen among victims under 21.
The latest figures show there has been a sudden increase in cases of criminals applying for loans, online retail, telecoms and insurance products under false names. Between January and June 2016, just 20 cases of fraud contained fake insurance claims in the UK. One year later, there were over 2,000 cases (January to June 2017) resulting in more than a 10,000% increase.
Why Insurance ID Fraud?
Well, in many cases it is a case of 'ghost broking' where an individual applies with another person's details which they know will get low premiums. They will then either keep it for themselves or sell it on to an unsuspecting buyer for a profit.
The victim may not even know their identity has been stolen, unless they begin to receive correspondence from the insurer.
How is it possible? Fraudsters can get hold of personal information for these applications in a number of ways, such as stealing your post, hacking or stealing information shared on social media platforms. They may even phone you and request information whilst posing as your bank or a similar organisation.
Simon Dukes, Chief Executive, Cifas said:
"We have seen identity fraud attempts increase year on year, now reaching epidemic levels, with identities being stolen at a rate of almost 500 a day.
"Criminals are relentlessly targeting consumers and businesses and we must all be alert to the threat and do more to protect personal information.
"For smaller and medium-sized businesses in particular, they must focus on educating staff on good cyber security behaviours and raise awareness of the social engineering techniques employed by fraudsters. Relying solely on new fraud prevention technology is not enough."
Stay Safe, Compare With Us
Prevent yourself from accidentally purchasing one of these dodgy policies by only using official insurance brokers and providers, and not buying insurance via social network sites, pubs, or at repair shops.
We have close direct relationships with insurers and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, so compare insurance quotes online with us today.
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