More people lying on bank account applications
The number of people giving false information when applying to open a current account soared in the first three months of 2012, according to Experian.
The credit checking firm said that bank account application fraud increased by 23 per cent, compared with the final quarter of 2011.
Current account application fraud is now at its highest level for three years, with people giving misleading or false information on 44 out of every 10,000 current account applications.
In many cases, the applicant fails to reveal problems in their financial history, such as being unable to repay a loan on time.
Other applicants exaggerate their income in order to be accepted for an overdraft or loan.
Across all types of financial products, including insurance and credit cards, 0.19 per cent of applications made in the first quarter were fraudulent, Experian said.
There was also an increase in fraudulent applications for insurance.
Experian identified problems with 13 in every 10,000 insurance applications, representing the highest level of insurance application fraud since 2009.
However, fraudulent loan applications fell by 38 per cent to their lowest level since Experian’s fraud records began in 2006.
While financial service customers are sometimes the perpetrators of fraud, they are also often the victims of attacks by fraudsters – especially, it seems, if they live in Slough!
Experian reports that Slough has now overtaken London as the identity fraud capital of the UK.
Residents in Slough suffer 25 identity fraud attacks for every 10,000 households, four times the UK national average, while Londoners face 22 attempts for every 10,000 households.
Identity theft is also prevalent in London, Gravesend, Birmingham, Luton, Manchester and Leicester, with households targeted at twice the national average rate.
Experian reported a surge in rates of identity theft via current accounts and mortgages from six to 14 in every 10,000 applications during the first three months of the year.