ID fraud reaches ‘epidemic’ levels
RUSSIAN SECURITY COMPANY Kaspersky Lab has responded to reports that identity fraud is a “very real and growing threat” by suggesting that poor passwords and public Wi-Fi are making it too easy for criminals.
The comments came after fraud prevention service Cifas released a report that found there were 89,000 cases of ID fraud in the first six months of 2017, and that 90% of them were carried out online. That is a 5% increase on last year, and enough of a rise for Cifas to start talking about an epidemic.
“We have seen identity fraud attempts increase year on year, now reaching epidemic levels, with identities being stolen at a rate of almost 500 a day,” said Simon Dukes, CEO at Cifas.
“These frauds are taking place almost exclusively online. The vast amount of personal data that is available either online or through data breaches is only making it easier for the fraudster. Criminals are relentlessly targeting consumers and businesses and we must all be alert to the threat and do more to protect personal information.”
Kaspersky adds that industry should do more to safeguard customer data.
“Identity fraud is a very real, and growing, threat. The responsibility to protect against it is shared between banks, online stores and other online providers, government and consumers. Online providers, for example, have a duty of care to safeguard the personal data of their customers. However, consumers must be vigilant and do all they can to minimise the risk of their personal data being stolen,” said David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab.
“Central to this is having up-to-date and appropriate internet security software on all connected devices, installing operating system and application updates promptly, using strong and unique passwords, applying caution when using public Wi-Fi networks, being aware of our digital footprint and not revealing too much information about ourselves online.”