Current account fraud plunges but mortgage swindles are up

Ben Southwood
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CURRENT account fraud dived sharply in 2012, numbers showed this morning, but mortgage, credit card and savings fraud were on their way up.

There were a quarter fewer fraudulent applications for current accounts by the end of 2012, Experian said, from 19 criminal applications per 10,000 in the first quarter of the year, to 15 per 10,000 in the final three months.

“A decline in current account fraud is a positive step for the financial services industry as current account fraud is often the first step for fraudsters who later plan mortgage, loan or credit card deception,” said Experian identity and fraud director Nick Mothershaw. “It is also important to highlight that the drop is very much the result of better systems and vigilance by financial services providers.”

But total financial services fraud crept up 3.5 per cent in the year, from 17.15 per 10,000 applications across 2011 as a whole, to 17.75 per 10,000 during 2012.

Growth in mortgage fraud drove this overall increase – rising 10 per cent in just a year to take place once in every 265 applications, according to Experian’s figures.

Eighty-nine per cent of mortgage fraud was made up of individuals falsely reporting their personal circumstances on loan applications, Experian’s data showed.