Affluent households targeted by credit card fraudsters

Higher income households most likely to be victims of credit card application fraud. Fraud rate rose by 18% in first three months of the year, with level remaining at record high.

UK, June 01, 2022: Affluent, older households are being targeted by fraudsters committing credit card application fraud, new insights from Experian reveals.

Latest data from the National Fraud Hunter Prevention Service, analysed by Experian, found the detected fraud rate for cards rose by 18% in the first three months of 2022 when compared to the same period last year, and just below the five-year high which was recorded in the last quarter of 2021.

When looking at the type of victims, those aged between 50-59 with higher incomes and higher borrowing power were the most likely to be targeted, along with younger families aged 40-44 who are also financially secure.

Almost three-quarters of cases detected involved the fraudster using the victims’ current address to apply for credit, highlighting the importance of people doing what they can to keep their personal information safe and secure, especially when using online apps and social media.

Eduardo Castro, Managing Director, Identity and Fraud, Experian UK&I, said: “The fraud rate is among the highest recorded in the past three years, continuing the trend we saw over the Christmas period, which saw it reach its highest level since 2017.

“Those with higher incomes are being targeted for their strong borrowing power, with fraudsters keen to maximise their balances by using the victim’s personal information to apply for credit in their name.

“The rapid rise in digital activity has created new opportunities for fraudsters, exposing businesses and consumers to increased risks of fraud and identity theft. Its crucial people do what they can to keep their personal information secure and look after their financial health.”

Fraud teams are using a sophisticated combination of technologies, such as fraud probability scores powered by Machine Learning to successfully identify and prevent fraud, without impacting the experience of genuine customers.

This has allowed lenders to automate more of the application process and decline questionable applications rapidly and efficiently, rather than flagging it for manual review.

New forms of authentication are also becoming prevalent. Pin numbers sent to a person’s mobile phone have become typical, while biometrics systems – both physical and behavioural – are becoming more familiar and accepted by consumers too.



Data from National Hunter Fraud Prevention Service analysed via Experian’s Financial Strategy Segments (FSS) tool, which provides insights for businesses into consumer financial habits and behaviours.

How to protect yourself protect yourself from identity fraud

  • Don’t share too much personal information on social media, such as mother’s maiden name, home address or when you’re away. It’s important make sure your privacy settings are up to date across all platforms.
  • When you move address, always re-register on the electoral roll as soon as you can. This helps ensure your details are no longer registered at your previous address. It’s a good idea to set up mail redirection for a while too.
  • Make sure you have an individual unique password for each online account you have. This means fraudsters are less likely to gain access to multiple accounts.
  • Ensure your home Wi-Fi has a strong password, never sign in into password protected accounts on unsecured public Wi-Fi and make sure you have up-to-date antivirus software
  • If you receive emails or text messages always be cautious about attachments, links or telephone numbers. If in doubt, visit the company website and contact them directly.
  • Check your credit report, for free, on at least an annual basis to look for anything suspicious. This will show any applications for credit or new accounts. You can also monitor your free Experian Credit Score to look for any significant changes.

What to do if you’re a victim of ID fraud

  • Check your free statutory credit report, with all three credit reference agencies. You can then review all information that does not belong to you.
  • Contact any relevant lenders to inform them of the fraudulent information
  • Ask Experian, or a credit reference agency, to dispute the fraudulent information with all relevant companies and lenders. A notice of dispute will also be added to the fraudulent information.
  • Add a password to your credit report. this is called a Password Notice of Correction and should be unique and only known to you.
  • Add self-registration details with Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. A credit reference agency can sometimes do this for you.
  • Contact Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime.

Media contacts:

Robert Goodman, PR Manager, Corporate & Business, UK&I, Experian

Tel: +44 7989 398 498 / E:

About Experian

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