THE LATEST research conducted by Cifas, the UK’s leading fraud prevention service, has revealed that identity fraud is now one of the biggest fraud threats facing members of the public, with cases soaring by nearly 25% across the last year. That alarming statistic is revealed in the latest edition of Fraudscape, which identifies and analyses the latest fraud trends based on 409,000 cases of fraudulent conduct recorded to the National Fraud Database in 2022. The report reveals that last year witnessed the highest volume of cases of fraudulent conduct ever recorded to the National Fraud Database. Cases involving identity fraud soared by 23% and now account for circa 68% of all cases filed by Cifas members. Although the banking sector continued to be heavily targeted, in 2022 there was a significant increase witnessed in cases of identity fraud attempted against the plastic cards and telecoms sectors. Over the last couple of years, the demand for credit card use has grown as a result of households becoming increasingly reliant on credit as the cost-of-living crisis deepens. In turn, this has made individuals more susceptible to approaches by criminals who offer fake deals for products and services in order to steal personal and financial information. For its part, the telecoms sector has been the target of a surge in attacks by fraudsters, with a noted increase in ‘fake phone dealer’ fraud whereby victims are duped into revealing their personal information after being offered upgrades or discounted offers on contracts. Most victims of identity fraud are over 31 years of age, while the data shows that there has been a significant rise in victims aged 61-plus as criminals turn their attentions towards targeting older consumers.