Tech-savvy targeted by ID thieves, says Experian

Nearly a quarter of identity fraud victims in the UK last year were tech-savvy mobile and social media users, according to a credit checking service.

Experian identified the group, which only made up 8% of the population, as suffering the biggest rise in ID theft.

There was a 17% rise in victims among this group compared with 2014.

The analysis comes shortly after fraud prevention service Cifas said Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn had become a “hunting ground” for identity thieves.

Experian said those on social media should be cautious about the information they shared, especially if details such as their pets’ names were used as passwords elsewhere on the web.

Personal details

“It is vital that those embracing technology also embrace protecting themselves online. Using the latest device doesn’t necessarily mean full protection and being complacent about the risk of ID theft makes for a tempting target for ID fraudsters,” said Nick Mothershaw, a fraud expert from Experian.

The next biggest rise in identity theft was among older and retired households, predominantly living in rural communities.

“These people are being targeted through phone and email scams by fraudsters trying to steal their details,” said Mr Mothershaw.

“They tend to be less aware of the types of scams fraudsters undertake, who can be very manipulative and sound trustworthy on the phone. The sole rule is to never give out personal details, passwords or Pins to anyone, whether it is on the phone or by email.”

A report published earlier this year estimated the annual cost of fraud in the UK was £193bn – equal to nearly £3,000 per head of population.