News Article


New CIFAS fraud stats highlight the risk of lax identity checks

By CreditMan Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The latest CIFAS report, published today, reveals a 49% increase in identity fraud. John Marsden, Head of ID and Fraud at Equifax, comments on the urgent measures businesses must take to tackle this type of fraud:

“The latest CIFAS statistics show a huge increase in identity fraud, with cases up by almost 50%. When personal details fall into the wrong hands, it presents a very real and significant threat not just to the affected individuals, but also to businesses. As the number of victims continues to rise year on year, individuals and businesses must step up the protection of personal data. In addition, businesses must protect themselves from attempted fraudulent transactions using the stolen data.

“Businesses need to determine the appropriate level of security and identification checks for their customers based on considerations such as the type of product they provide, and the associated risk. Failing to appropriately screen customers can incur significant financial losses for any type of business, and lead to long-term brand damage if genuine consumers are put at risk.

“While organisations must identify genuine customers and screen out fraudsters to tackle this growing problem, they must also keep in mind the customer experience. Good customers rightly demand fast and efficient service, and if their expectations aren’t met they will take their money elsewhere. For a business to protect itself and still provide a good customer experience, it’s paramount to run the relevant identity checks without compromising or alienating real customers.

“A recent research project by University of Portsmouth and accountancy firm PKF Littlejohn estimated the cost of fraud to be considerably larger than the UK’s state spending on education. It is not a problem that anyone can afford to ignore and businesses must take the threats seriously.”