ONS latest crime figures show banking and credit fraud is up 13% in the year ending June 2016.

Commenting on the latest figures John Marsden, Head of ID and Fraud at Equifax said “Companies have stepped up their fraud protection with multiple layered fraud defenses, but this often moves criminal activity to channels that are less well protected. Fraud is a surprisingly professional industry. The number of cases continues to rise as criminals find new ways to access information, often fuelled by a deep understanding of their target’s identity. Underlying this is the sharing of knowledge and consumers’ personal information across dark web marketplaces.”

“Consumers must take steps to protect themselves from falling prey to fraudulent behaviour. People are without doubt confused about where to store and share confidential information like their bank account number, sort code and even date of birth. As consumers seek the convenience and speed offered by digital correspondence, they expose themselves to fraudsters who will steal this information to gain access to accounts and financially exploit individuals. Data shared on the dark web can’t be treated as a one-time event; the data never truly vanishes and can spread globally in a short amount of time, enabling criminals to fraudulently takeover accounts and identities. To reduce the risks and damage associated with fraudulent activity, more needs to be done to educate the public and give them a stronger chance of protecting themselves. The advice is very clear; remain vigilant, only share your details when you are sure the channel is secure, and keep the following guidelines in mind when handling your personal information.”