In the past few hours, the Office of National Statistics has released its latest crime report, revealing that fraud now accounts for nearly one in three of all crimes committed, making it the country’s most common offence. It is estimated there were 3.6 million cases of fraud in a single year. Nick Brown, group managing director of identity data intelligence company GBG commented below.

Nick Brown, Group Managing Director at Identity Data Intelligence Company GBG:

nick-brown“These figures illustrate just what a booming business fraud has become. It’s sadly got to a point that you have to assume your identity, at some point, will be compromised. Even the unassuming store card can be a target for fraudulent activity as they are linked to your name and address. While this information may seem of little value on the surface, fraudsters can use this data – your identity – to set up other accounts to do with as they please. In the first instance, fraudsters use the actual identity of an individual and thereafter, they will create synthetic identities compiled from elements of the data stolen from an individual. And the consequences can be disastrous.

So as those with malicious intent hone their skills to increasingly take advantage of the innocent, businesses and individuals need to consider how they can stay one step ahead to protect their valuable identity, data and IP. For the individual it’s about being more vigilant with data; making sure you know where your name, address, phone number or date of birth are stored online and keeping track of where you put in your bank details. For businesses, it’s about using data more intelligently. The more transparent we can be with data, the more it can be used to gather insights and intelligence that will stop the bad guys in their tracks. Furthermore, by using more data, analytical insights and triangulation of multiple identity proofing techniques, the implications of identity theft can be minimised for both the citizen and the businesses who are serving them.”