Dramatic increase in current account fraud

Current account fraud almost doubles due to extensive large scale organised attacks

Nottingham, 18 August 2015 – There has been a huge surge in large-scale targeted fraud attacks in Q2 2015.  Current accounts saw the rate of fraudulent applications soar from 81 in every 10,000 during Q1 2015, to 151 in every 10,000 applications by the end of Q2.

Identity theft is at the heart of these attacks. In Q1 2015, 49 per cent of all current account fraud was identity theft, but by Q2 2015 this figure had risen to 69 per cent.

Nick Mothershaw, UK&I Director of Identity & Fraud at Experian, comments: “We’ve seen current accounts slowly become the main target for criminals over the past year, but this sudden surge in fraud is alarming and indicative of a widespread organised attack on financial service providers.

“The good news is that these figures relate to detected and prevented fraud so these large scale attacks are being blocked before the damage is done. However, it does reveal the fervour with which fraudsters are targeting current accounts and the dangers for both the individuals whose identities are stolen and the organisations trying to protect them.”

Despite the growth in current account fraud there has also been a sharp decrease in the rate of fraudulent mortgage applications.  In Q1 2015, the fraud rate stood at 83 in every 10,000 applications, but by Q2 2015, this had dropped to 70 in every 10,000. This is the first time since Q3 2013 the quarterly fraud rate for mortgages has dropped below 80 in every 10,000 applications.

For those wishing to stay up to date with the latest insights, visit Experian’s interactive fraud dashboard here.  Launched earlier this year, it is the first of its kind in the UK and shows fraud rates by financial product as well as regional hotspots and high profile fraud facts.

What can people do to prevent being victims of ID fraud?

  1. Always shred or destroy documents that contain personal information before throwing them away.
  2. Never respond to cold phone calls or e-mails asking for account details, PINs, passwords or personal information.
  3. Don’t give too much away on networking websites. For example, pets’ names or children’s names could be used as passwords.
  4. Register to vote at your current address. If you don’t, thieves could use your previous address details to open new credit accounts, and run up debts in your name.
  5. Monitor your post regularly so you know when to expect important documents — and when to act if they don’t arrive.
  6. Redirect your mail via the Post Office if you move house.
  7. Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible, and ideally all of them. At the very least have a unique password for each type of service provider such as financial services, retail services and email.
  8. Don’t store account names and passwords on your smartphone, either in email, as a note, or to ‘autocomplete’ when you open a website or app.  It will be a goldmine for fraudsters if your device is lost or stolen.
  9. Read all bank and card statements regularly to check for suspicious transactions.
  10. Check your credit report, because it lists your credit accounts and what you owe, so you can spot applications and spending that are nothing to do with you.



Notes to Editors

Experian’s fraud analysis is for the period April to June 2015.


Sarah Muir / Edward Keough

020 7490 8828
sarahm@lansons.com / edwardk@lansons.com

About Experian

We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.  In 2014, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’.

We employ approximately 17,000 people in 39 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.

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 March 31, 2015, was US$4.8 billion.


To find out more about our company, please visit http://www.experianplc.com or watch our documentary, ‘Inside Experian’.