Mortgage fraud up 9pc
Experian found that the rate of mortgage fraud increased to 38 in every 10,000 applications in 2012, up from 35 in every 10,000 in 2011.
The report revealed that 89% of attempted mortgage fraud in 2012 was down to individuals painting a knowingly false portrait of their personal circumstances on applications.
Typically this involved falsifying employment status or financial information and, most commonly, attempting to hide a poor credit history.
The overall rate of fraud at point of application across the UK’s financial services sector is inching higher, with a three per cent increase in the past year.
In addition to the record mortgage fraud figures, this overall jump was also driven by growth in credit card and savings fraud.
Nick Mothershaw, UK & Ireland director of identity & fraud at Experian, said “Mortgage, insurance and cards will continue to come under pressure from fraudsters keen to get their hands on cash facilities.
“It is therefore vital that banks, the financial services sector, online retailers, ecommerce and local authorities maintain their vigilance and accurately assess the likelihood of fraud by verifying the identities of the people they interact with to ensure they are building trusted relationships with legitimate customers.
“Fraud prevention and detection tools which allow organisations to detect, monitor and assess risk will help firms identify anomalies within applications and check for signs of adverse credit history. This is essential to restrict the significant damage fraud can do to the bottom line.”