Identity Fraud and the Techno Target

Recent research* has uncovered a perhaps surprising trend – those who are the most tech savvy are also those experiencing the biggest increase in attacks by identity fraudsters. Fraud against these avid users of social media and digital technology, increased by 16.7% in 2015 when compared to 2014.

This rise really does seem to be linked to early adopters and keen users of technology. Those who are regular users of more established technology saw the biggest fall in attacks down by over 10% overall.

One can only speculate as to why we’re seeing this phenomenon; perhaps the use of a multitude of devices and more time online has given fraudsters more points to attack. Alternatively it could be that this group assumes that more security is included in their technology than is the case.

The answer doesn’t appear to be to abandon technology . The people who experienced the next highest rise in the rate of attack were the retired who lived in rural areas where broadband access was limited. Fraud rates for these people, who are in-frequent users of technology saw an increase of over 15%.

What this research does show is that fraud attack rates do vary considerably across different types of social and economic groups. Large variations suggest that the fraudsters are not random in who they attack and have devised strategies that work for those they target.

It also highlights the need for service providers to do all they can to protect their customers with robust identity verification – whether their customers are accessing services online, by telephone or even in branch.

Our fraud dashboard provides insight and statistics on a range of fraud trends from our expert analysts.

*Information is based on 2015 Experian fraud data. Experian works closely with National Hunter, the UK’s leading fraud prevention system, operated by Experian on behalf of members. It enables financial institutions to cross-match applications against more than 100 million previous application records in order to spot commonalities and anomalies that are potentially indicative of fraud for further investigation.