Social Media Now Major Hunting Ground For Identity Thieves
Fraud prevention service Cifasn figures show that there was a huge 57% rise in identity fraud last year. Experts have attributed much of the rise to the ease with which criminals can steal people's personal information from social media sites.
The figures, based on data taken from 261 UK companies show that the number of identity fraud victims in the UK rose from 94,500 in 2014 to 148,000 in 2015. It is believed fictitious identities were used in only a very small number of these cases because organisations such as banks are now very good at spotting and detecting them. Over 85% of these frauds were carried out online.
Focus on Social Media Instead
The fact that criminals are less likely to be successful and face a higher risks of detection if they use false identities, and the sheer ease of access to and vast choice offered social media profiles has meant that identity thieves are turning to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn as their first port of call. People freely share information about themselves on social media platforms that could easily be pieced together by determined criminals to produce a genuine identity that could in itself prove to be very lucrative.
What Kind of Information?
The kind of information that identity thieves are looking for in addition to the obvious (name, address and of course bank details!) includes date of birth, and pictures of the home, workplace or school, and perhaps any information about other potential victims.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
For businesses this means that they are now more likely to receive fraudulent requests / orders online for goods and services from people who are using someone else’s identity. For many businesses the process for creating an account online would mean accepting the person’s details at face value and it would only be at the payment stage that detection would be most likely e.g. if they are trying to use details from an old / cancelled card.