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Social media to blame for soaring fraud
KIS Finance

Identity theft soared by 57 per cent last year and social media is to blame, says a new report from the fraud prevention service, Cifas, which calculates thatat least 879 frauds happen in the UK every single day.

These latest findings suggest that sharing our information on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is leaving us vulnerable to fraudsters who steal our personal and financial details.

In 2015, there were more than 148,000 victims of identity theft in the UK, a rise of more than 50,000 in 12 months. Over 85 per cent of these crimes happened online, with the biggest increase in the number of victims - 64 per cent - amongst the 31-40 age group.

Most worryingly, there has been a marked shift in how criminals are operating. Banks and financial companies are getting better at spotting fictitious identities, so fraudsters are now simply lifting names, addresses, dates of birth and bank details to open false bank accounts and take out credit cards and loans. This information is acquired by searching our social media and online activityto piece together personal profiles.

Across the UK, Manchester saw the biggest rise in such online identity theft, with an increase of 83 per cent in crimes affecting the under-30s.

Cifas urges us all to check our privacy settings on social media and to be super-vigilant about what we share online.


  • Make sure you're up to date and read our in depth guide to scams and fraud prevention.
  • Don't ignore letters or emails which suggest that you have financial dealings with an unknown sender. Contact the company concerned immediately.
  • Sign up for your credit report – try Experian, Equifax or Noddle –and check every entry. You're looking for credit searches made on you without your knowledge, or accounts opened in your name. If you spot anything, tell the credit reference agency.
  • If you find yourself a victim of identity theft, notify Action Fraud, 0300 123 2040,, and in England and Wales, Victim Support,, can help with the aftermath.
  • Contact the police or Crimestoppers – which you can do anonymously – on 0800 555 111, – if you have any information about anyone committing identity crime.


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