UK fraud levels dipped 11 per cent last year although instances of loan account and credit card fraud saw big increases.
Data released by anti-fraud body CIFAS reveals that there were 221,075 reported cases of fraud in 2013, down from 248,325 in 2012. This means last year represented the first decline in volumes of fraud since 2010, but CIFAS pointed out that levels are still higher than they were before the recession took hold.
With 123,589 instances in 2013, identity fraud of some kind represented more than three in five cases of fraud last year. Elsewhere, the fraud landscape shifted away from mail order and bank accounts and towards cards and loans.
Beefed-up security measures helped mail order and bank account providers ensure "sizeable decreases" in fraud last year, according to CIFAS. But fraud involving credit or store cards (up 24 per cent) and secured, unsecured or payday loans (up 55 per cent) rose significantly.
Simon Dukes, chief executive of CIFAS, claimed that the headline decrease is no reason for businesses to rest on their laurels.
"Fraudsters have turned their attention to organisations who are not making best use of existing solutions, and will continue to look for new products or channels and opportunities to attack once again," he explained.
"In 2010, CIFAS saw a similar reduction in fraud, and warned that this could just be the calm before the storm. What followed was two years of unprecedented surges. The figures for 2013 contain many variations, and therefore similar caution must be exercised; as fraudsters will not have disappeared completely, but will have sought out new targets."
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