Company directors twice as likely to be identity fraud victims – report reveals

News Article

A new report has revealed that company directors are more than twice as likely to fall victim to identity fraudsters.

According to fraud prevention company Cifas who carried out the research, in conjunction with LexisNexis Risk Solutions, company directors are easier targets than other members of the general public because their personal details are often more visible.

The research found that almost one in five (19 per cent) of identity fraud victims are company directors, despite the fact that company directors make up less than 9 per cent of the UK’s population.

The report also revealed a growing trend where identity fraudsters targeting company directors are attempting to obtain credit files prior to committing identity fraud. Nearly half (47 (per cent) of recorded identity frauds involving the fraudulent procurement of credit files from company directors took place in London and the South East.

Researchers also discovered that 17 per cent of company directors were the victim of identity fraud more than once across a three and a half year period.

The report comes at a time when identity fraud is at an all-time high, having risen by over 68 per cent since 2010 to almost 173,000 individual cases in 2016.

Cifas recommends that company directors should take care when sharing personal information on social media and professional networking sites and avoid posting sensitive details online. The company also recommends regularly checking credit files and both business and personal bank accounts as the quicker fraudulent activity is spotted, the easier it is to limit the damage caused.

Carey Jacobs, a partner in Palmers, said: “This latest report demonstrates that identity fraud involving company directors is an increasingly worrying business challenge.

“Palmers has been at the forefront of raising local awareness about the risks of cybercrime and its potentially devastating impact on businesses and we have hosted a series of successful joint seminars on this important issue, which we are planning to run again later in the year.

“We also have a network of contacts who are committed to helping local business people stay safe and reduce their risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud and cybercrime.”

For more information on issues relating to identity fraud and cybercrime, how you can manage your risk and your legal options if you or your organisation is affected by fraudulent activity, please contact us.