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Thursday, 24 August 2017 09:08
Fraudsters target 20-somethings
Lifestyles drive susceptibility to fraud

The number of frauds against those under 30 years old has risen by 6% since 2014, while those aged 50 and up have experienced a decrease of 8.4% over the same period.

Fraudulent credit applications against people in their twenties have soared in the last three years, according to new research from Experian, which attributes the change to the lifestyles of 20-somethings.

“Young people are more likely to live their lives online, so there is a good chance they will not be monitoring their post for statements,” said Nick Mothershaw, director of fraud and ID solutions at Experian. “They often live in accommodation with shared mail areas, which provides an opportunity for fraudsters to intercept their post.”

He added that fraudsters see young people as an easier target to open an account, which can be used for money laundering, or to establish a footprint at the bank for further fraudulent activity.

The 60-plus demographic has experienced the sharpest decline in fraud attacks, down 5.8%, suggesting they have heeded advice to monitor their statements for suspicious activity, given scam emails a wide berth and use a range of passwords online.

In 2014 the stereotype was supported by statistics, with 17.1% of frauds perpetrated against people aged 60 and over. But this year, 11.2% of frauds are against this age group, the biggest single movement of stats related to age.

Shifting targets of fraudsters:
Are male: Males victims have seen a rise in frauds of 1.6%, since 2014
Are 20-29 years old: This age group has faced a rise of 5.7% in attacks since 2014
Live in London: 29% of frauds in the UK are targeted against London residents

Fraudulent applications for current accounts reached 164 in every 10,000 in the second quarter of 2017, up from 128 in every 10,000 between April and June last year. Mortgage fraud rose to 75 from 63 in every 10,000 applications over the same period, although credit card fraud dropped from 48 to 42 in every 10,000 applications year-on-year.

Households struggling to get by on minimal incomes who prefer to deal in cash are becoming a particular target of fraudsters. Frauds against this group are up 2.4% compared to last year and 4.2% since 2014. Other households struggling to make ends meet in the Family Pressures segment were also increasingly preyed upon by scammers, up 4% over three years.
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