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Identity thieves target elderly homeowners

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Identity thieves are increasingly targeting elderly couples and pensioners, a study has revealed.

Older individuals who own comfortable homes and have some income in addition to the state pension, have felt the brunt of increasing ID thefts.  Within the first six months of this year ID theft among this group climbed 1.8 per cent, compared to the same period in 2014, research by Experian found.

This age group now accounts for one in 20 detected current account frauds in the UK, compared to 2.8 per cent in 2014 and 1.9 per cent in 2013.

Across applications for all financial products, extended families from multicultural backgrounds in settled communities have become the number one target.

This group has seen seen ID theft rise by 1.3 per cent during the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2014.  The group is also now fraudsters’ second most targeted segment, accounting for 11.1 per cent of all ID theft victims.

Men are now victims in two out of three ID thefts (63 per cent) across all financial product applications, according to Experian data.

Criminals making bogus current account applications have been targeting men aged between 50 and 59 (up 3.4 per cent) most during the first six months of the year.  This age group now accounts for nearly one in five (17.6 per cent) current account ID thefts attempted against men.

Nick Mothershaw, UK&I director of identity and fraud at Experian, said: “Fraudsters are widening their net and we are seeing a growing number of cases involving older members of society.  Older individuals in this category often have a good credit rating and have lived at the same address for a long time. Individuals need to be careful of websites and emails asking for personal information, such a as confirmation of their date of birth. This information is then used by criminals to apply for new financial products.

“We are also seeing more residents of urban communities falling victims to fraud.  One in five people within this community is over 56 years old.

“It is important that everyone, regardless of age, takes measures to ensure their details remain their own, because fraudsters will easily find those who don’t.”

Young renters are still the main targets for overall ID theft across all financial products, accounting for 18.5 per cent of all fraud.


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