Posted on August 3, 2016 by staff

Social media warning issued amid huge rise in ID theft


Tech-savvy social media users are increasingly likely to be targeted by ID theft.

Credit checking service Experian said nearly a quarter of identity fraud victims in the UK last year were in this group, which makes up only eight per cent of the population.

The group also experienced the biggest rise in such theft, with 17 per cent more victims than in 2014.

Fraud prevention service Cifas recently warned that social media sites Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are a “hunting ground” for identity thieves who look for information such as pet names which may be used as passwords.

“It is vital that those embracing technology also embrace protecting themselves online,” said Experian fraud expert Nick Mothershaw.

“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.”

Rural older folk suffered the next highest rise in ID theft.

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

Cyber crime is on the increase.

Two-thirds of UK businesses suffered cyber attacks in a year.

And a recent Cisco report warned that new strains of ransomware may target entire networks and use encryption.