Cards top target list for fraudsters
Credit and store cards have returned to the top of the list of fraud targets, with a 28% increase in the first four months of the year – at a time when overall fraud levels fell by 16.5%.
For the past four years card fraud has accounted for less than 20% of fraud, according to CIFAS, the UK’s fraud prevention service, but it has jumped to 25%. In 2009, it was 27%.
According to CIFAS, a large proportion of these frauds are accounted for by identity fraud, with fraudsters using the name and details of victims to impersonate them, and obtain a card account in the victim’s name.
“The credit or store card – as one of the most widely used financial services products – is a natural target for those whose intentions are not so honest,” said Richard Hurley, CIFAS communications manager. “Recent years have revealed that fraudsters frequently change their targets, however, so the fact that plastic card accounts are being targeted far in excess of other products indicates that this process of change may have come full circle.”
Loan accounts, including payday loan companies, have also become increasingly popular with fraudsters and now account for almost 7% of all fraud – up by 43% on the same period last year. “The rise in prominence of payday lenders means that fraudsters are increasingly targeting loan providers, as fraudsters have always attempted to defraud new and emerging organisations in the belief that these organisations’ defences might be weaker,” says CIFAS. “In light of this, and the increasing number of payday lenders, responsible counter-fraud measures such as data sharing must now be seen as a bare minimum to help this sector combat fraud.”
According to Hurley, the fact that while levels for plastic card fraud continue to increase, bank accounts and mail order account frauds continue to decline means that “we are possibly seeing the early stages of yet another shift in fraud dynamics, as some more ‘traditional’ targets are replaced by new possibilities of easily obtained money”.