Nottingham, 8 December 2011 — The latest Fraud Index from Experian®, the global information services company, has revealed that attempted mortgage fraud increased dramatically in the three months to the end of September 2011. 49 in every 10,000 mortgage applications were found to be fraudulent, 77 per cent up on the same period in 2010 and 53 per cent more than in Q2 2011.
Current accounts also continued to be frequently targeted by fraudsters, with 30 in every 10,000 applications being revealed as fraudulent. Although this represents an increase of 48 per cent on Q3 2010, it was 30 per cent lower than in Q2 2011. Fraudulent savings account applications increased in Q3, up 47 per cent year on year and 16 per cent over the last quarter.
Attempted fraud in the automotive finance sector fell for the fifth consecutive quarter. 21 in every 10,000 applications were found to be fraudulent in Q3 2011, down 49 per cent on the year, and 12 per cent on the quarter.
Nick Mothershaw, Director of Identity & Fraud at Experian UK & Ireland, comments: “More than 90 per cent of mortgage fraud tends to originate from genuine individuals misrepresenting their financial situations attempting to buy property that would ordinarily be out of reach. Current accounts continue to be frequently targeted, which combined with the growth in savings account fraud, points towards an increasing trend for deposit accounts to be targeted for money laundering purposes or to then be used as a springboard to more lucrative credit products.”
Experian’s Fraud Index utilises data from the National Hunter and Insurance Hunter fraud prevention systems, which Experian manages on behalf of its clients. These systems enable financial companies to analyse applications alongside previous ones and highlight inconsistencies which may be indicative of fraud.
Credit card fraud increased for the third consecutive quarter, up 10 per cent on Q2 2011 and seven per cent on the year. The fraud rate for credit cards now stands at 13 in every 10,000 applications, the highest level since the period of April to June 2010.
Insurance fraud fell by eight per cent quarter-on-quarter to 11 in every 10,000 applications. This was, however, a 28 per cent increase on Q3 2010.
Loan fraud remains the least targeted credit facility of the financial products Experian analyses, remaining constant at a rate of six fraudulent applications per 10,000 received. Over the year this equates to a ten per cent decrease in fraud rates.
Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients in more than 80 countries. The company helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2011 was US$4.2 billion. Experian employs approximately 15,000 people in 41 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
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