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Fraud

Pickpockets and thieves target more than your wallet

By CreditMan Tuesday, December 1, 2009

As the festive shopping period hits top speed, the dangers of the season are ones no consumer can afford to ignore.

In the first ten months of this year, the 260 plus Members of CIFAS the UKs Fraud Prevention Service have recorded over 68,000 victims of impersonation (those people whose identities have been hijacked by identity fraudsters). This represents a surge of almost 37% from the same period in 2008.

In addition, cases of Facility Takeover Fraud (also known as account takeover where a third party fraudulently gains control of a victims account), have also increased: by 18% from the same period in 2008.

These worrying trends have previously been highlighted by CIFAS, in its report The Anonymous Attacker. These figures also go some way to explain the results of a recent YouGov survey commissioned by VeriSign the trusted provider of internet infrastructure services which found that almost one in four (22%) Britons are being held back from doing any Christmas shopping online, due to fears over online ID theft and fraud.

CIFAS Communications Manager, Richard Hurley, comments: The festive season traditionally reminds us of the high street threats of thieves and pickpockets stealing our wallets. We must, however, protect ourselves equally from their latter-day counterparts who target our identities. The safety tips used throughout the year to protect our identities are even more crucial now, in order to ensure that the holiday period can be enjoyed without the fear that fraudsters are helping themselves to your identity and finances.