According to the latest CIFAS report: “The volumes of cases recorded to the NFD (National Fraud Database) are close to pre-pandemic levels, with over 360,000 cases recorded in 2021.

Levels of identity fraud reached over 226,000 cases and account for 63% of all cases recorded to the NFD – a 22% increase (nearly a quarter) on 2020. Identity fraud continues to impact the plastic card and banking sectors but rises in the online retail and loans sector have also been identified.

The sophistication of cyber enabled attacks such as phishing and smishing continues to grow, as does the quality of false documentation provided to

CIFAS Report Findings

support the subsequent fraudulent applications. There is concern that the rise in living costs will encourage criminals to target loan products and deferred credit services and exploit organisations that have more relaxed lending criteria than others.

Misuse of facility accounts for just over a fifth of cases, with over 79,000 cases recorded, and is up 17% from 2020. The majority of cases relate to bank accounts, with 72% of cases (nearly three-quarters) holding intelligence indicative of mule activity. The significance of this can be seen in conjunction with the continued rise in scam activity and the requirement for an account to transfer funds obtained from those scams.

Of note, there has also been a rise in misuse of plastic cards, with the main filing reason being payment fraud. The sector may be increasingly targeted as a direct result of economic stresses due to rising living costs.”

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