Elderly homeowners increasingly targeted by identity thieves

ID thieves also focusing more on extended families from multicultural backgrounds. Two-thirds of all identity theft victims are men

Nottingham, UK, 28 September 2015 – Elderly couples and pensioners have found themselves at increased risk of identity theft during the past year.

As current account fraud rises to the highest levels yet, older individuals who own comfortable homes and have some income in addition to the state pension, have felt the brunt of increasing ID thefts.  Within the first six months of this year ID theft among this group climbed 1.8 per cent, compared to the same period in 2014. 

Experian’s demographic profiling has identified this specific social segment as ‘Senior Security’. They now account for one in 20 (4.6 per cent) detected current account frauds in the UK. This compares to 2.8 per cent in 2014 and 1.9 per cent in 2013.

When looking at identity theft across all applications for financial products, the biggest increase has been among extended families from multicultural backgrounds in settled communities.  This ‘Urban Cohesion’ segment has seen ID theft rise by 1.3 per cent during the first six months of this year, compared to the same period in 2014.  The group is also now fraudsters’ second most targeted segment, accounting for 11.1 per cent of all ID theft victims.

Experian’s expertise and insight on data security has also highlighted a gender imbalance. Men are now victims in two out of three ID thefts (63 per cent) across all financial product applications. 

Criminals making bogus current account applications have been targeting men aged between 50 and 59 (up 3.4 per cent) most during the first six months of the year.  This age group now accounts for nearly one in five (17.6 per cent) current account ID thefts attempted against men.

Nick Mothershaw, UK&I Director of Identity and Fraud at Experian comments: “Fraudsters are widening their net and we are seeing a growing number of cases involving older members of society.  Older individuals in this category often have a good credit rating and have lived at the same address for a long time. Individuals need to be careful of websites and emails asking for personal information, such a as confirmation of their date of birth. This information is then used by criminals to apply for new financial products.

“We are also seeing more residents of urban communities falling victims to fraud.  One in five people within this community is over 56 years old.

“It is important that everyone, regardless of age, takes measures to ensure their details remain their own, because fraudsters will easily find those who don’t.”

Young renters are still the main targets for overall ID theft across all financial products, accounting for 18.5 per cent of all fraud.

Top 5 most target for ID fraud across all products


Top 5 most targeted for ID theft in current accounts


Rental Hubs


Rental Hubs


Urban Cohesion


Urban Cohesion


City Prosperity


City Prosperity


Prestige Positions


Municipal Challenge


Domestic Success


Prestige Positions


Experian’s interactive fraud dashboard provides the latest insight for those wishing to stay up to date. 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. Please visit the dashboard here

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.


Information based on H1 2015 Experian fraud data. Experian works closely with National Hunter, the UK’s leading fraud prevention system, operated by Experian on behalf of members. It enables financial institutions to cross-match applications against more than 100 million previous application records in order to spot commonalities and anomalies that are potentially indicative of fraud for further investigation.

Further breakdowns by age and gender are available on request.


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 2015, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the ‘World’s Most Innovative Companies’.

We employ approximately 17,000 people in 38 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’.