back to article Identity fraud in the UK at 'epidemic' levels as cases rise 5% – report

There were almost 90,000 cases of identify fraud recorded in the first six months of 2017 – 5 per cent higher than the first half of last year, according to data released today. Fraud prevention firm Cifas, which released the figures, said identity fraud was rising at record levels and now accounts for more than half of all …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    "It won't hurt me"

    is the comment that most of my friends make when I tell them to be careful, use different passwords, ...

    They just think me strange because I am careful about security and privacy.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "It won't hurt me"

      They just think me strange because I am careful about security and privacy.

      It is almost time to get paranoid about your own data security.

      The old WW2 slogan

      Careless Talk Costs Lives

      should now be

      Careless Posting Costs YOU Money

      Getting your life back after your Identity has been stolen can take years. The first thing to go is your Credit Rating. It took me 4 years and an awful lot of work.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I was younger my mum said I could be anyone I wanted to be.

    Turns out that's identity theft.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      YOU STOLE MY IDENTITY!!!!

  3. djstardust

    Hmmmm

    Thing is the police aren't interested in this type of crime in the slightest, but if you call someone fat on Twitter they're banging your door down in minutes. Policing priorities are all wrong and so are the penalties. Internet crime has a huge impact on people's lives but the perpetrators seem to get away with it time and time again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmmmm

      Is that you just making shit up or is it proven in fact?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hmmmm

        The first part about name calling is metaphorical, but look what happened when numb-nuts metaphorically threatened to blow up Doncaster / Robin Hood airport!

        The second part, yeah, the plod don't give a fuck. Very little to go on. That's why it's such an issue, easy to commit, easy to get away with.

      2. Not also known as SC

        Re: Hmmmm

        They did arrest someone in 2010 for a twitter joke about blowing up Robin Hood Airport so it isn't beyond belief that the same will happen if you call some one names.

        1. Syntax Error

          Re: Hmmmm

          That was a few years ago. There is quite a lot of concern that online abuse is not being taken seriously by the police. For example https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/21/online-hate-real-world-abuse-alison-saunders-guidance

          1. Nick Kew
            Alert

            Re: Hmmmm

            The name-calling bit is not at all metaphorical. Labour's totalitarian-in-chief was on the radio yesterday, gloating that two people are in prison for calling her names online!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              FAIL

              Re: Hmmmm

              "Labour's totalitarian-in-chief was on the radio yesterday, gloating that two people are in prison for calling her names online!"

              Would one of those be the one with previous convictions of harassment and threatening behavior to two other women?

              You know, the one that sent a photo of him holding a knife and saying "watch your back Jewish scum"?

              Yes, just sounds like a pleasant fellow just having a little joke.

              1. Nick Kew

                @Lost all faith

                Where does that come from? Your imagination, or some other source?

                No such thing was mentioned in the interview I heard (on BBC R4's "Today"). Just that two people been banged up for using the language of the playground online.

    2. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: Hmmmm

      The Police aren't interested when you report it because YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM. Crime recording standards generally only allow crimes to be reported by the victim or an officer.

      In general the fraud should be reported by the bank or insurance company that is actually being defrauded.

      I wish people and sloppy journalists wouldn't talk about identity theft victims, because it's bollocks legally and gives banks an excuse to fob people off.

      1. Phil Endecott

        Re: Hmmmm

        > The Police aren't interested when you report it because YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM

        Right, so if I see someone breaking in to a neighbour's house, I shouldn't bother phoning 999 because I'm not the victim.

        Sounds ridiculous, but it's actually true. I once witnessed some kids trying to burn down the bin store at the back of the building where I lived. Police wouldn't take a statement from me because I was a tennant, and only the owner could report it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmmm

          At one slightly dodgy area I lived, late night yobs took out the street light outside our house with a shotgun. Phoned the police and all they could be arsed to do was offer me a crime number. I declined their offer. Somehow I was under the misguided impression that some cops would turn up and look for the gun toting yob, but no.

        2. Adam 52 Silver badge

          Re: Hmmmm

          You need to understand the difference between reporting an incident and reporting a recordable crime.

          You can report anything you want, but it will only get recorded as a crime under very defined circumstances. That's important because response targets (those targets that Theresa May says don't exist) are based on crimes not incidents.

          In the case of fraud your local Police standard procedure will be to ignore it and wait for the victim to report it. Act on Fraud might deal, because they are the national body designed to investigate systematic fraud. Those are the rules. If you don't like it, don't blame the messenger lobby your MP or Police Commissioner. Perhaps using these statistics. But bear in mind the six officers on your local shift will be run off their feet sorting out everything else from parking disputes to lost children to murders and won't have the time to do any sort of serious investigation.

          Think about data protection law. It's still a crime, you can report it to the Police, but the national body to investigate is the Information Commissioner so the Police won't do anything.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Hmmmm

        "Crime recording standards generally only allow crimes to be reported by the victim or an officer."

        Clearly things have changed. Back in my day I took part in quite a few murder investigations and I don't think all the victims lived long enough to dial 999 or was stumbled over by an officer who nobody else could call because they weren't the victim.

  4. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    A 'friend' of mine made an off-colour joke on Mumsnet, bad idea...

    ... A few days later the Fifty* were at his door accusing him of being a pedo...

    * Five Oh, our outstanding police service.

  5. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Devil

    Direction of travel

    With practically every legitimate Internet business mining any piece of information about us that they can, surreptitiously, in the main and for God knows what purpose, is it any wonder that the crims are doing the same?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Direction of travel

      Exactly.

      So give them a load of old cobblers. The last thing you should be is truthful.

  6. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Banks

    They can't just ring up and expect everybody to blurt out their details for security purposes. The FSA needs to rap some knuckles over this.

    If people are trained it's okay to do that by their bank then they're they're defenceless.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really suprising

    when western governments have collected the personal data for the criminals and relied only upon their power over their own people to protect it.

    Add in allowing anyone and their dog the right to demand confidential data but do not actually punish them when they let it slip through their fingers (sell/do not secure) .

    Then make laws to stop people using cash and wow, fraud who'd have thunkit

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How hard can it be to steal someones identity?

    It seems that more and more sites require you to provide personal information before you can access them. Normally I use my fake identity for unimportant sites*, but recently a couple of sites have asked for my mobile number so that they can send me an SMS containing a code to "verify" my identity. Suffice to say, they didn't get my mobile number.

    Giving any real identity info to some organisation that you don't know is asking for trouble. I always assume that they are a front for some cyber criminals.

    *BTW my fake identity has genuine (fake) linkedin and facebook accounts (and no mobiles were involved) - lol.

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: How hard can it be to steal someones identity?

      You can't steal an identity. They are permanently attached to people and impossible to remove.

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: How hard can it be to steal someones identity?

        "You can't steal an identity. They are permanently attached to people and impossible to remove."
        But you can delete yourself. That'll show 'em good and proper!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: How hard can it be to steal someones identity?

        "You can't steal an identity. They are permanently attached to people and impossible to remove."

        That's a debatable point.

        For the purposes of identifying oneself for an increasing proportion of transactions "identity" consists of a few pieces of data. Given those - or maybe a subset and a bit of social engineering of the service provider - then a criminal could start to get control of of other aspects. An instance would be getting a bank to send out a replacement credit card to a different address. Another would be getting a password reset to something the criminal controls.

        We're used to having to remind people writing of "copyright theft" that it doesn't meet the ingredients of theft. But this is different. If the criminal takes control of various aspects of the individual's identity, at least within this meaning of identity, then the individual has indeed lost something and the criminal has gained it. It wasn't permanently attached and it's certainly arguable that it's been stolen.

  9. adnim
    Trollface

    Don't

    share your life with strangers on line. ie:Social media. Tell lies on every web form one fills in. If one feels the need to brag about ones achievements on line to total strangers or the general public, perhaps your life is not as fulfilling as you imagine.

    And blank the registration number when one posts an image of ones new M3. (I am happy with my 17 year old Ford Focus)

    ffs!

  10. herman Silver badge

    Err, so an identity fraud prevention company says 50% of their business is identity fraud.

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