Friday, 18 January 2013

Fraud and Identity Theft is on the Rise. Lock that info up!

Photo Credit: Adam Thomas
Blightly's Fraud Prevention Service said two out of three fraud cases in the UK involved identity theft.

I know, I know, we're all aware that identity theft happens. But most people don't think about how it happens.

Of known attacks, hacking is used in about 11%. But, and this is a big but, 65% of identity theft victims don't know how their identity was stolen. Experts believe a large portion of that 65% is a result of hacking. (Here's an interesting Wired piece on it.)

Here's some data on fraud from CIFAS, a fraud prevention organization in the UK:

·         Nearly 250,000 confirmed frauds were identified during 2012 by CIFAS Members, the highest number of frauds ever recorded by CIFAS Members and over 150,000 cases had an identifiable victim.
·         The continued blight of Identity Fraud accounts for over 50% of all frauds recorded in 2012.
·         The takeover of customer accounts increased by 53% from 2011, meaning that data driven identity crimes now constitute the vast majority of all fraud in the UK.
·         Conversely, frauds committed by the genuine account holder or applicant have all declined: the most notable being the decrease in fraudulent misuse of an account (Misuse of Facility fraud) which fell in 2012 by over 15% from the record levels seen in 2011. There has also been a fall in proven false insurance claims and instances of individuals submitting false details or documents in support of an application.

So here’s the takeaway: Fraud and identity theft are on the rise and a lot of it is linked to your online activity.

This is just a friendly reminder to take your online security seriously. Get an antivirus program, be smart when you click on links, and use a VPN! If you haven’t heard us say it a thousand times, a VPN is one of the best ways to keep your online information safe! Remember, identity thieves won’t think twice to snoop on your Wi-Fi connection to snag your banking credentials, your credit card number, or even your home address. But if you lock that information up with 128-bit encryption and a VPN tunnel, even the most adept hackers won’t have a hope of stealing your data!

1 comment:

  1. It is becoming increasingly important for us to know how to protect ourselves from those scammers. One way is to watch out for phishing websites that represent themselves as legitimate business websites. These websites are designed to fish out personal information from you that can be used to hack into your financial accounts.

    Annie Valdez