Young homeowners ‘at growing risk of being targeted by fraudsters’

Fraudsters using stolen details to apply for financial products are increasingly targeting younger people who have just got on to the property ladder, according to credit checking service Experian.

It said that, in general, the number of attempted financial applications made using third party fraud increased by 14% between January and June, compared with the same period in 2018.

These attempts were detected as being bogus and thwarted.

Third party frauds involve crimes being committed using someone else’s details which have been used without their consent.

Experian’s data includes applications for financial products such as current accounts, mortgages, cards and loans.

A 60% increase in credit and debit card fraud compared with the first six months of 2018 helped to drive the upswing in detected fraud incidents in the first half of 2019.

Experian said criminals are turning their attention to younger people who have just bought their first home.

Fraud against younger people who have bought their first homes in affordable suburbs increased by 35% in the first half of the year.

People in these households may have mailboxes which are accessible to fraudsters, or their information may have been compromised in data breaches, Experian suggested.

This group saw a 91% increase in card fraud over the period.

In general, people aged 25 to 34 are particularly likely to be at risk, with many people of this age living in flats with communal mail areas, where fraudsters can intercept the plastic cards needed to commit fraud, Experian said.

It said it has been working on technology to further improve the accuracy of applications which are flagged to lenders’ fraud teams for closer inspection.

Experian said that across the world, each year it saves nearly £4 billion by stopping fraud before it is committed.

Its figures are compiled through National Hunter, which is operated by Experian and aims to prevent application fraud in the financial industry to protect both businesses and their customers.

Nick Mothershaw, director of identity and fraud solutions at Experian UK and Ireland, said: “While we are uncovering a new incident every 15 seconds, fraudsters continue to find new ways of separating people and organisations from their money.

“It is critical people think about where their post is stored and are aware of how data breaches can affect them.”

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