Cifas Fraudscape 2019: Tackling identity fraud must remain top priority

Commenting on today’s annual Cifas Fraudscape report, Keith McGill, head of identity and fraud at Equifax, warns of the growing agility of fraudsters and highlights the opportunities for businesses to help improve outcomes: “The latest Cifas figures show worrying trends as identity fraud rose by 10% in 2018, with those aged under 21 and over 60 being increasingly targeted by fraudsters. There was also a 26% rise in cases of ‘money mule’ fraud, highlighting the agile nature of fraud and its constantly shifting battleground.

“An overall increase in identify fraud reinforces that this must remain a top priority for businesses. With over 50% of account creations now coming from a desktop or mobile, understandably organisations are prioritising smooth payment journeys to optimise customer experience, but this shouldn’t come at the expense of robust controls to protect consumers.

“The ease with which personal information can be obtained along with the anonymity of the web makes the internet a playground for fraudsters. Cyber-criminals are quick to move between channels while implementing increasingly sophisticated methods to use synthetic identities and money mules across card payments, remote banking and cheque fraud.

“Retail and telecoms companies continue to be seen as soft targets. These organisations need to strike the right balance between customer demands for fast authentication and strong security. Technological advancements and the emerging new open data landscape are making it easier than ever to have strong customer authentication without impacting the user experience, and businesses should embrace this opportunity for the benefit of all.”