These activities are on the rise and IPS members need to know the dangers to make some behavioural changes that reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
The National Fraud Database reported over 364,000 identity fraud cases in 2019, a 13% rise on 2018. That is almost 1,000 reported cases a day in our country.
The holy grail for a fraudster is to be able to use details found in your passport or driving licence (name, date of birth, address, photograph) in conjunction with bank and mobile device details and your usernames and passwords to access your online accounts.
Once your identity has been compromised fraudsters can use your identity details to:
- Open new bank accounts
- Take over your existing bank accounts
- Obtain credit cards, loans, and state benefits (like universal credit and even Covid-19 related furlough payments)
- Order goods and services in your name
- Take out a mobile phone contract
- Obtain new copies of genuine documents such as driving licences or passports
- Sell those details to the highest bidder (including the fraudsters running Cold Call and email phishing scams)
Victims often don’t find out until long after their identity has been stolen. It’s common for the first indication to be a credit card statement featuring things you didn’t buy. From there it’s downhill, with bailiffs and debt collectors seeking money they think you owe them, or being turned down for a mortgage due to a flag on your credit score caused by a failed application you didn’t make.
Achieving the holy grail can be triggered by the capture of a first piece of private identity. One piece of private data can help them pick up even more information which leads towards their complete data copy of you.
There are several routes to set this in motion:
- Going through post or rubbish to find bank and credit card-related paperwork/statements.
- Theft of a purse or wallet (to access driving license, bank and credit cards).
- Contactless payment cards and information can be stolen whilst a person is shopping. They ‘skim’ the chip in the card using radio frequency capture and can use to information to clone the card.
- See how easy card cloning is by watching the video on this website.
- Online data capture of private information can happen if using unsecured web sites or a hacked public wi-fi without using VPN software.
- Phishing email scams can harvest valuable data.
- The fraudsters who capture data through phishing sometimes sell on the email address or password to other criminals who buy such details in the dark corners of the web.
According to a price list found on the dark web, PayPal logins are worth around £300 to an identity fraudster. The next hot ticket item are banking details, valued at £161. Click here for more information.