Fraud against older victims continues to soar

Fraud against older people soared last year, with criminals increasing their radius and looking beyond the UK’s cities and town for new victims, according to new research from Experian.

Those city dwellers whose mail is left in communal areas or in mailboxes outside of their property have long been the primary target for fraudsters, as they intend to intercept the credit or debit card as it is delivered to the victim.

However, well off homeowners living in the countryside, who are often retired or make lengthy commutes, suffered a 29.5 per cent rise in fraud last year. Furthermore, a 7.5 per cent increase in fraud against those living in family homes in the suburbs was reported.

In 2018, the over 60s experienced an 11.5 per cent rise in fraud in 2018, greater than any other age group, the latest Hunter Fraud statistics revealed. The level of fraud increased by 4.7 per cent for those between 50 and 54 and 6 per cent for those 55 to 59, the only other age groups to record an increase in third party fraud during this time.

However, in a bid to combat the increasing level of fraud, Experian is developing machine learning technology to better identify emerging trends and further improve the accuracy of applications which are flagged to lenders’ fraud teams for closer inspection.

Commenting, Experian UK&I director of identity and fraud solutions Nick Mothershaw said: “Our statistics show that although we are uncovering a new fraud every 15 seconds, fraudsters continue to look for new ways to scam people and businesses. Criminals are casting their net wider to the countryside, as well as targeting their traditional victims.

“People need to be ever more vigilant – ensuring they don’t write down or share passwords or account details. They should check their credit file regularly for signs a fraudster is using their identity.”

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