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BizReport : Internet : June 19, 2017


Cifas: Company directors particularly vulnerable to identity fraud

A study from UK fraud prevention service, Cifas, based on more than three year's of data, reveals that company directors are twice as likely as others to be victims of identity fraud.

by Helen Leggatt

According to the Cifas study, cases of identity fraud in the UK are at an all-time high. The number of cases reported has risen by over 68% since 2010 to almost 173,000 individual cases.

Despite making up just 9% of the UK population, 19% of identify fraud victims were company directors, found the study. The reason, says Cifas Chairman, Lady Barbara Judge CBE, was the sheer amount of information available publicly online and through Companies House.

While the most common targets of identify fraud are aged between 41 and 50, more than a quarter (28%) of director-level victims were in their 30s. This, says the report, "contradicts any notion that identity fraudsters deliberately target older people based on their perceived affluence and status in life".

Lady Barbara Judge warns in a Cifas blog post that "directors can ill-afford to ignore this research and their inevitable vulnerability. While the proliferation of data loss through hacks and breaches has made a significant contribution to the rising levels of identity fraud, there are steps that company directors should take if they are to limit the potential damage that a fraudster can make".

"There will always be more publicly available information about those who run their own business compared to other individuals. Fraudsters are happy to play the long game and piece together as much detail as they can to complete the 'jigsaw'. It is not easy to keep everything in our lives private in today's modern world, but I would encourage company directors to do as much as possible to separate their personal and company," she added.

Tags: fraud, identity theft, Internet, personal data, security










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