Lax Security Blamed For Identity Fraud Rise
New figures have revealed a dramatic rise in online identity fraud as British people sign up to increasing numbers of websites.
Identity fraudsters traded some 12 million pieces of personal information between January and April this year.
That outstripped the whole of 2010 when 9.5 million pieces were traded illegally and marks a fivefold increase in just two years.
According to credit check firm Experian, 90% of the data illegally traded in the first four months of 2012 were password and login combinations.
This dramatic surge is being blamed on spiralling numbers of online accounts, with the average Briton now holding 26 accounts.
That number is even higher among 25 to 34-year-olds who have around 40.
And the alarming rise in internet fraud shows no signs of slowing, with nearly one in five of us - 17% - signing up to six or more new sites a month.
Despite the proliferation of accounts, Britons on average use just five different passwords to protect their details.
One in 25 of us even use the same login details for all their profiles.
Peter Turner, managing director at Experian Consumer Services, said: "The reason password and login combinations make up nine out of 10 illegally traded pieces of data is because they give access to a huge amount of other valuable information, such as address books and related accounts.
"Using a different password for each account will minimise risks, but if password information is stolen from a website, all accounts using the same details will be compromised, and this information can spread among fraudsters rapidly."
Some two million people have fallen victim to identity fraud. Consequences include debts being run up in their name and difficulty obtaining loans or credit cards.
what do you think?
Jan N Andy Oakley-Hills
That's what happens when you allow the immigrants to become IT literate! Time the police consulted the DVLA data base and PASSPORT office to see who has brand new and expensive cars, and is taking exotic and frequent holidays, then compare that with benefit claimants and HMRC records and seriously investigate. Also investigate the Traveller sites who appear to have unlimited sources of ready cash, new and expensive vehicles, without the need for gainfull employment! Just looking at the programme 'Big Fat G**** Weddings' etc you can clearly see they have more ready cash to spend on outfits from babes to brides/grooms/weddings, than most of us working people ever see in a lifetime. Full investigation and exposure is long overdue, then we maybe will have a fair and balanced society!
Jan N Andy Oakley-Hills
Apparently the term G****y is offensive now and not allowed to appear in print on here, so that's fine because I find the fact that most G****ys/travellers get away with everything, and blatanly flout and ignore to our national taxation syste offensive anyway, as I am sure the majority of law-abiding citizens do!!