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NEWS: deceased id and direct mail fraud most popular crimes PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 November 2015

Shocking new research has revealed that deceased identity fraud is now considered one of the easiest ways for criminals in the UK to generate cash. It is second only to stealing a wallet or handbag. 

The research carried out by data specialists, Wilmington Millennium, asked ex-offenders to rank common methods of ID theft in order of popularity. Mail theft, including stealing someone’s direct mail such as credit card application mailings, was found to be the third easiest form of ID fraud.

The 10 most prevalent forms of identity theft as ranked by ex-offenders:
1. Stealing someone’s wallet/handbag to sell use payment cards/phones and personal information
2. Deceased identity fraud – gathering personal information of deceased individuals from obituaries and graveyards
3. Mail theft – obtaining someone’s mail including direct mail with the purpose of using any personal information fraudulently
4. SMSishing – sending bogus text messages with the aim of finding out bank details or personal information
5. Dumpster diving – stealing personal information from rubbish bins
6. Phishing – sending bogus emails and online communications with the aim of tricking a person into revealing personal information and bank details
7. Skimming and overlays– using a device to collect payment card details
8. Phone fraud – call unwitting consumers pretending to be from a reputable organisation and ask for personal information and bank details
9. Online fraud – set up a bogus shop/bank URL mirroring legitimate sites with the aim of gathering information or payment details
10. Change of address fraud – diverting someone’s post

Four in five ex-offenders (79 per cent) believed that ID fraud was one of the easiest ways to obtain cash, over and above other crimes such as benefit fraud and burglary. According to BBC Money Programme identity fraud is now one of the UK’s fastest growing crimes growing at a rate of 500 per cent per year. Figures from CIFAS reveal it costs the UK taxpayer an estimated £3.3 billion per year.

Comments Karen Pritchard, Product Director, Halo, a Wilmington Millennium Product: “The fact that deceased identity fraud and mail fraud are so high up the list should be of massive concern to direct marketers and credit providers. Clearly criminals see these avenues as easy ways to generate cash. Consequently, businesses need to put processes into place to flag credit applications in the names of known deceased individuals and practice exemplary data hygiene for all direct marketing activity.”
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