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Mortgage industry bucks rising fraud trend

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The mortgage industry was one of the few financial services sectors to witness a decline in fraudulent activity in the past year.
Mortgage industry bucks rising fraud trend

Data from Experian showed the number of fraudulent mortgage applications fell to its lowest level in four years during 2013, with 30 in every 10,000 cases caught out.

This compares to 38 cases in every 10,000 applications during 2012.

The final quarter of the year saw figures fall even further with 27 fraudulent cases detected in every 10,000 applications.

Experian said the most common type of fraud was misrepresentation, with the hiding of adverse credit and falsified employment details seen most often.

Across all areas of financial services the overall level of fraud attempts increased by 18% in 2013. The credit card sector was hit particularly badly with a 69% increase in fraudulent activity.

The insurance sector also saw a large increase in fraud, with 40% more fraudulent applications than the year before.

Nick Mothershaw, director of identity and fraud at Experian, said: “The financial services industry continues to make headway in the fight against fraud, with the amount of fraudulent cases being detected and prevented on the rise and in some sectors of the industry, such as insurance, at an all-time high.

“However, lenders and consumers should remain vigilant. Although better systems are in place to combat fraud, identity theft still accounts for a high proportion of fraud cases detected showing that identity theft is rife.

“As our analysis suggests, fraud is still prominent in major service lines such as credit cards, current accounts and insurance, with credit card application fraud at its highest since 2010. Both providers and consumers can take steps to ensure risk is mitigated.

“People should be wary of their personal credit information, especially in the age of social and mobile where personal details may easily be displayed or disclosed, therefore taking every practicable step to avoid becoming a victim to identity theft.”

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