TIM DREW: Increase in young identity fraud victims

Tim Drew
Tim Drew
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Sussex Neighbourhood Watch wishes to alert residents to another “phishing” scam which was recently tried out on a NHW coordinator.

She was telephoned by a lady who told her that her bank wanted to return an amount of interest owing to her. The caller quoted the coordinator’s name and address and it all sounded very convincing.

Fortunately, the coordinator had her wits about her, and she asked the caller from which bank or building society this returned interest would be sent. The caller replied that she didn’t have that information. When the coordinator started to ask more questions, the line went dead.

Meanwhile CIFAS, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has released figures showing a 52 per cent increase in young identity fraud victims in 2015, with 23,959 people aged 30 or younger being affected.

Identity fraud occurs when a fraudster acquires goods or takes out a loan in the name of an innocent individual. The victims often do not realise that they have been targeted until an unexpected bill arrives or they begin experiencing problems with their credit rating.

To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, the fraudsters gain access to the victim’s personal details such as name, address, date of birth, bank or building society and account details.

They do this in a number of ways, including hacking and data loss, as well as using social media to piece the victim’s identity together – social media is a happy hunting-ground for fraudsters, with 86 per cent of all identity frauds in 2015 being perpetrated online.

A survey by CIFAS revealed that only 34 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds say that they learnt about online security when they were at school, and they are also less likely to install anti-virus software on their mobile phone than the national average.

• The Tarring Community Forum will meet on Tuesday (September 13) at West Worthing Baptist Church Centre, South Street, Tarring, at 7pm.

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