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Why fraud is an issue we all need to think about this Christmas

November 25, 2021 by Clive Lawson

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.

Many of us will be starting to think about (or if you’re very organised, have already finished) their Christmas shopping. Black Friday sales will kick-off this week’s online bonanza, as bargain hunters pursue the best deals online. However, while we are all busy getting into the spirit of things, it has never been more vital that we do what we can to protect ourselves from identity fraud.

As the popularity of the Black Friday sales season has grown, we’ve also seen a marked increase in the volume of fraudulent activity, as criminals use stolen or illegally obtained personal details to apply for credit in someone else’s name.

According to our latest analysis of National Hunter Fraud Prevention Service data, the fraud rate for credit card applications has increased by 43% in the last three months to 69 confirmed fraudulent applications per 10,000 applications. It’s expected the rate will rise even more in December, as criminals look to take advantage.

It’s naturally worrying if you are a victim of ID fraud. The fraudster will likely have tried to obtain credit in your name – perhaps on multiple occasions – and you’ll be concerned about how and from where they got hold of your information in the first place.

Fortunately, there’s a host of things you can do to protect yourself. Checking your credit report on a regular basis is one of the best ways to spot if fraudsters have used your personal information to attempt to access credit, and our dedicated teams can help guide you through the steps if the worst happens and your identity has been stolen.

New services and solutions are also helping companies identify and prevent more fraud. In part, the rise in rates can be attributed to better detection, helping fraud teams focus their energy on fraudulent applications, rather than genuine ones.

So, while you’re browsing for gifts this festive season, make sure you are mindful of those looking to spoil your Christmas spirit. Help is available and you can read more on how to guard yourself against identity fraud on our website: https://www.experian.co.uk/consumer/identity/what-to-do-if-victim.html

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