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Elderly homeowners increasingly targeted by identity thieves PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 September 2015

Elderly couples and pensioners have found themselves at increased risk of identity theft during the past year.

As current account fraud rises to the highest levels yet, older individuals who own comfortable homes and have some income in addition to the state pension, have felt the brunt of increasing ID thefts.  Within the first six months of this year ID theft among this group climbed 1.8 per cent, compared to the same period in 2014.

Experian’s demographic profiling has identified this specific social segment as ‘Senior Security’. They now account for one in 20 (4.6 per cent) detected current account frauds in the UK. This compares to 2.8 per cent in 2014 and 1.9 per cent in 2013.

When looking at identity theft across all applications for financial products, the biggest increase has been among extended families from multicultural backgrounds in settled communities.  This ‘Urban Cohesion’ segment has seen ID theft rise by 1.3 per cent during the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2014.  The group is also now fraudsters’ second most targeted segment, accounting for 11.1 per cent of all ID theft victims.

Experian’s expertise and insight on data security has also highlighted a gender imbalance. Men are now victims in two out of three ID thefts (63 per cent) across all financial product applications.

Criminals making bogus current account applications have been targeting men aged between 50 and 59 (up 3.4 per cent) most during the first six months of the year.  This age group now accounts for nearly one in five (17.6 per cent) current account ID thefts attempted against men.

Nick Mothershaw, UK&I Director of Identity and Fraud at Experian comments: “Fraudsters are widening their net and we are seeing a growing number of cases involving older members of society.  Older individuals in this category often have a good credit rating and have lived at the same address for a long time. Individuals need to be careful of websites and emails asking for personal information, such a as confirmation of their date of birth. This information is then used by criminals to apply for new financial products.

“We are also seeing more residents of urban communities falling victims to fraud.  One in five people within this community is over 56 years old.

“It is important that everyone, regardless of age, takes measures to ensure their details remain their own, because fraudsters will easily find those who don’t.”

Young renters are still the main targets for overall ID theft across all financial products, accounting for 18.5 per cent of all fraud.

Experian’s interactive fraud dashboard provides the latest insight for those wishing to stay up to date. Launched earlier this year, it is the first of its kind in the UK and shows fraud rates by financial product as well as regional hotspots and high profile fraud facts. Please visit the dashboard at http://www.experian.co.uk/identity-and-fraud/fraud-statistics/

(Source - Experian News Release)  

 

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