A victim's account e.g. bank, utilities or online shopping is taken over and used. Financial account takeover often involves funds being removed from accounts either by Direct Debit, payments or transfers being set up for fraud without the victim's consent. For mobile phones, this involves upgrading an existing account to a new phone or adding additional handsets.
This involves the criminal tricking a victim into paying an up-front fee with the promise of a large reward later.
A fraudster makes an application for credit using a victim's details or false supporting documentation.
These can be fixed to cash machines (ATMs) to extract PIN numbers and personal details from cards. The attachments can include skimming devices or false fronts with built-in card readers, as well as pinhole cameras.
Bank account opened fraud
A bank account is opened in a victim's name and used for the fraudster's benefit.
Benefits or tax is claimed in the victim's name. Associated names and addresses appear on their credit report.
The practice of rifling through household or commercial bins to find documents, such as bills or statements, containing personal or confidential information about individuals, which could be used to assume their identity.
Card capture device / card trapping
A device inserted into the card slot of a cash machine (ATM) to capture the data contained on cards.
Card cloning or 'skimming'
Cloning involves creating a duplicate of your payment card. The data on a card's magnetic stripe is read electronically by a 'skimming' device and downloaded onto a computer or copied onto a duplicate card.
Car lease fraud
A car lease applied for in a victim's name
Catalogue/store card fraud
Goods ordered through mail order catalogues arrive at the victim's address without their consent/the customer is charged for goods without receiving them and signing up (see Personal details compromised).
Change of address fraud
Using a victim's name and address details, a criminal contacts banks and businesses to register a change of address. The fraudster may then ask for valuable items such as cheque books, debit cards or account statements to be sent to the new address. Change of address fraud can also be used to facilitate an account takeover.
CIFAS - the UK's Fraud Prevention Service
CIFAS is a not-for-profit membership association dedicated to the prevention of financial crime. It provides a range of fraud prevention services to its members, including protective registration which requires more identifying documentation to be provided when credit is applied for.
Cloned car number plate fraud
The victim's registration number is involved in crime and reported to the police. The victim can prove their car was a different make/model or in a different location.
CNP - cardholder-not-present fraud
Using stolen cards or card details and personal information, a fraudster purchases good or services remotely - online, by telephone or by mail order.
Commercial / Corporate identity theft
The use of the identity of a company, business or its directors, without their knowledge, to facilitate fraud.
This is a small data file automatically stored on a user's computer for record-keeping purposes. It contains information about the user in relation to a particular website, such as their username and preferences.
The dishonest abuse of their position by (usually) senior members of staff to misrepresent a company's true financial position.
A fraudulent reproduction of a printed, embossed and encoded credit or debit card. Or a payment card that has been validly issued but has been altered or fabricated.
Credit Card fraud
A credit card is applied for in a victim's name and used by the fraudster for their benefit.
Current address fraud
Identity fraud perpetrated by a criminal who shares the same address as the victim. The fraudster is likely to have access to or is able to intercept the victim's post and so can apply for and use existing products and services in the name of the victim.
Fraud committed using a computer, such as hacking, denial of service attacks, phishing, etc.
Data Protection Act
The Data Protection Act 1998 sets out the legal basis for handling and protecting private information and data in the UK.
Day of the Jackal fraud
A fraudster assumes the identity of a deceased child, many years after their death when they would have been an adult, in order to commit identity fraud.
The process of converting data into cipher text to prevent it from being understood by an unauthorised party.
False identity fraud
The creation of a fictitious or false identity to facilitate fraudulent activity.
Computer hardware or software designed to prevent unauthorised access to the system via the internet.
First party fraud
Fraud committed against a financial institution by one of its own customers.
The use of deception to make a gain by unlawful or unfair means.
A group of organised criminals / fraudsters working together to defraud financial organisations, retailers, companies or individuals.
Fake businesses set up by criminals to facilitate fraud. The company may be used to process transactions on fraudulently acquired products.
A type of advance-fee fraud in which individuals or companies receive unsolicited emails or letters, originating from West Africa, promising a percentage of a huge sum of money in return for allowing funds to pass through the victim's bank account. There is an administration fee to pay as a pre-condition of releasing the funds. '419' is the Nigerian penal code under which this offence would be prosecuted.
Identity fraud / theft
The use of an individual's identifying details (name, date of birth, current or previous address, mother's maiden name, etc) without their knowledge or consent to assume their identity. The criminal uses these details to obtain goods or services, loans, passports, credit cards or bank accounts in the victim's name.
IOD - Impersonation of the Deceased fraud
A criminal takes on the identity of a deceased person to facilitate fraudulent activity (see Day of the Jackal fraud).
Key stroke logger
Hardware or software installed onto a computer to record keystrokes and mouse movements. Fraudsters can use this device to obtain the passwords, user names and other confidential details of the computer user.
Loan (unsecured) fraud
A loan is applied for in a victim's name.
Lost card fraud
The fraudulent use of payment cards that have been reported as lost.
Mail / telephone order fraud
A criminal uses a genuine account number obtained fraudulently to obtain goods or services from mail order companies.
Post is fraudulently re-directed to another address without the intended recipient's knowledge. The fraudster then receives important documents, such as bank statements and bills, intended for the victim and uses them to facilitate identity fraud.
Software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system, such as a virus or a Trojan horse.
Mobile phone fraud
A mobile phone contract is applied for in a victim's name.
A mortgage is applied for using the victim's details (showing on their credit report).
Phishing and pharming
These are scams in which criminals send bogus emails to thousands of people. The emails look like they have come from trusted organisations, such as banks, credit card companies and online stores. They usually contain compelling messages, urging the recipient to click on a link to visit a supposedly trusted website. If the victim clicks on the link they are taken to a website that looks like the real thing, where they are prompted to enter their personal details. The criminals can then use this information to impersonate the victim and commit identity fraud. Fraudsters may also call you on the phone, pretending to be from your bank or credit card company, asking you for personal details.
Second party fraud
Fraud committed by someone close to or known by the victim, usually a relative or employee.
The act of looking over the shoulder of an individual using a cash machine, making payments or filling out an application form in order to capture personal details and PIN numbers to facilitate identity fraud.
A device that reads and records details held on the magnetic stripe of payment cards.
Using a skimmer to copy the details held on the magnetic stripe of a payment card.
Various scams in which fraudsters attempt to gather personal information directly from unwitting individuals. The methods could include letters, telephone calls, canvassing, websites, emails, street surveys, etc.
Computer software that steals information from a user's computer without the user's knowledge or consent.
Third party fraud
Fraud committed against an individual by an unrelated or unknown third party.
Utilities or services are billed to the victim.
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Did you know?
Fraud costs the UK £73 billion a year.
National Fraud Authority, March 2012
Identity fraud rose by 10% from 2010 to 2011.
CIFAS, March 2012
On average the financial loss due to identity fraud was £481.
National Fraud Authority, March 2012