The Fraud Prevention Service, has recently released information that showed last year fraud increased by nearly 10 percent. Nearly 240,000 cases of fraud were reported last year which has the highest number that has ever been recorded in the country.
The statistics have shown that the vast majority of fraud that is occurring is identity fraud. Over 110,000 cases of this type of fraud were reported last year, this is a 10 percent increase on the same figure for 2010.
The most common type of identity fraud is where a criminal gang, or just an individual, manages to take over a victim’s bank account or gets access to their credit card. In the last five years this type of crime has increased by 300 percent and is now about 20 percent of all fraud that occurs in the UK.
There are many different types of identity fraud that take place and fraudsters have many different techniques for obtaining information. One of the most common is for a criminal to phone your house and simply ask you for information that could be required for such a thing as a credit card application. More dramatically, some fraudsters have been known to go through peoples garbage in order to find information about them.
Often, once these criminals gain enough information about you, they use this information to apply for things in your name, such as a drivers licence, or a passport. Once they have these they are able to use them to establish bank accounts and credit cards in your name which they can then take advantage of.
In order to protect yourself from this sort of crime there are several steps you can take. You should buy a shredder, and get in the practice of shredding all documents that you are throwing away.
You should be especially careful to shred any letters from your bank or mobile phone provider and anything else you feel might contain sensitive information. You should also be very cautious about anyone who contacts you over the phone and remember that your bank will never ask for details such as your card number.