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Dramatic increase in current account fraud

There has been a huge surge in large-scale targeted fraud attacks during 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.

During Q1-2015, around half (49%) of all current account fraud was down to identity theft, but by Q2-2015, the figure had jumped to nearly seven out of 10 (69%).

We’ve seen current accounts slowly become the main target for criminals during the past year, but the sudden surge in fraud is alarming and indicative of a widespread organised attack on financial service providers.

The good news is that the figures relate to detected and prevented fraud – so these large scale attacks are being blocked before the damage is done.

But it reveals the fervour with which fraudsters are targeting current accounts and the dangers for both the individuals whose identities are stolen and the organisations working 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, it had dropped to 70 in every 10,000. It also marks the first time since Q3-2013 that the quarterly fraud rate for mortgages has dropped below 80 in every 10,000 applications.

For anyone wishing to stay up to date with the latest insights, visit our interactive fraud dashboard here. It was launched earlier this year and is the first of its kind in the UK, showing fraud rates by financial product as well as regional hotspots and high profile fraud facts.

We work closely with National Hunter and Insurance Hunter. The fraud prevention systems are operated by us on behalf of members. They enable 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.