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Young victims of identity fraud on the rise

5 July 2016

Man and woman using laptops

Today, Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has published new figures highlighting a 52% rise in victims of identity fraud aged 30 and under in the UK from 2010 to 2015.

Cifas also surveyed 18-24 year olds to find out more about their attitudes towards personal data and their levels of risk, and found that:

  • Only 34 per cent of 18-24 year olds said they learnt about online security when they were at school;
  • Only 57 per cent of 18-24 year olds think about how secure their personal details are online (compared to 73 per cent for the general population);
  • Just 27 per cent install anti-virus software on their mobile phone (compared to 37 per cent of the general population).

As part of the campaign, Cifas has launched a new film, Data to Go, to raise awareness of identity fraud and risks related to personal data security. The film features a live stunt in a London coffee shop to capture the reactions of members of the public when their personal data, such as their profession, education or place of birth, is found on public websites and revealed to them live on their coffee cup.

As a charity that supports thousands of fraud victims each year, Victim Support is supporting Cifas’ #datatogo campaign, and we encourage anyone who has experienced identity fraud to contact us for free and confidential support. You can also report fraud to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Simon Dukes, Chief Executive of Cifas, said:

“Fraudsters are opportunists. As banks and lenders have become more adept at detecting false identities, fraudsters have focused on stealing and using genuine people’s details instead. Society, government and industry all have a role in preventing fraud, however our concern is that the lack of awareness about identity fraud is making it even easier for fraudsters to obtain the information they need.

“The likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other online platforms are much more than just social media sites - they are now a hunting ground for identity thieves. We are urging people to check their privacy settings today and think twice about what they share. Social media is fantastic and the way we live our lives online gives us huge opportunities. Taking a few simple steps will help us to enjoy the benefits while reducing the risks. To a fraudster, the information we put online is a goldmine.”

Support for victims of identity fraud

If you have experienced identity fraud and would like free and confidential information or support, call our Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111 or request support online. You can also contact your local Victim Support team directly.

To report the crime to the police, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report online.

Get involved

Share the Data to Go video using the hashtag #datatogo to help raise awareness of identity fraud, and the importance of online privacy settings.

Read our top tips to stay safe online and protect yourself from fraud, and follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to join the conversation. You can also follow updates from Cifas on Twitter.

For more tips on staying safe online, visit the Get Safe Online website.

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