Credit card theft may rise in recession


Credit card fraud increases in recessionEvidence from prior recessions shows that credit card fraud rates rise when the economy does badly, credit bureau Equifax warned.

According to the credit reports provider, card customers should take steps to improve their personal security in order to limit their chances of falling victim to the crimes.

Figures from CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service, have shown that impersonation fraud rates rose by 43% over the first six months of the year, when compared with the same period in 2008.

This total included cases where bank statements, passports and credit cards are stolen through muggings or burglaries and then used by the criminal to take out other financial products in their victims' names.

Neil Munroe, external affairs director for Equifax, commented: "In some respects, historical evidence has proven that when times get tough identity theft and fraud does increase.

"People do need to be aware of that and do need to take major precautions these days to make sure they don't become a victim."

Common ways for people to protect themselves against identity theft include keeping passports locked away at home and always shredding old bank statements.

CIFAS has also tracked a 16% annual rise in general UK fraud for 2008.ADNFCR-2308-ID-19397493-ADNFCR

Published: 13 October 2009