Fraud rockets due to credit crunch, says CIFAS

CIFAS has blamed the credit crunch for a 10% rise in fraud cases.

The fraud prevention organisation says the amount of cases filed have risen by 10% in Q1 2008 from Q1 2007, amounting to more than 52,000 cases.

Of those more than 14,500 fell victim to identity fraud related to either their current or previous address.

This is where either a resident is victimised by someone they share an address with or when a person is falsely represented as having moved house on an application form.

Application form fraud cases increased by 13% in Q1 with the most frequent issue being a failure to disclose a previous address in order to avoid accurate credit history checks.

Peter Hurst, chief executive of CIFAS, says: “Fraudsters need a more complete data-set in order to perpetrate current address fraud, so this shift is further evidence of their increasing sophistication.

“Those who think that lying on application forms will give them any advantage need to realise that their efforts are counter-productive. Fraud data sharing means that such lies are easy to detect and far from enhancing an applicant’s chances, will be detrimental to their application.”

He adds: “Telling the truth, even if it is slightly less palatable, remains the best policy.”