Troubling figures reveal scale of credit application fraud

Australian data analytics company Veda has released a new report that shows the prevalence of credit application fraud in bank branches, mortgage broker and online channels.

Released yesterday, the Veda 2015 Cyber Fraud Report lays bare the scale of cybercrime and credit application fraud in Australia.

The analysis of Veda’s shared fraud database – a consolidation of confirmed credit fraud events across Australia – and consumer research of more than 1,000 Australians found that 50 per cent of credit fraud is now occurring online – an increase of 33 per cent compared to the 2014 financial year.

Incidents of credit fraud in the broker channel were the second highest source, at 21 per cent, followed by bank branches at 11 per cent and lenders at 7.0 per cent.

Incidents of credit application fraud at bank branches have fallen by 23 per cent over the last financial year, according to the report.

Overall, credit application fraud rose by almost 13 per cent in the 2015 financial year across four main fraud types: falsifying personal details (accounting for 58 per cent), identity takeover (22 per cent), undisclosed debt (9.0 per cent) and fabricated identity (8.0 per cent)

Veda’s head of cybercrime Fiona Long said one in four Australians – approximately 3.8 million people – now claim to be a victim of identity theft or fraud. Ms Long feared this was the “tip of the iceberg”, with many more people likely to be unaware that their data had been stolen or compromised.

“The issue of identity fraud is not going to abate,” she said. “We have all embraced keeping in touch online and interacting in the virtual economy, but this has created a world of opportunity for cybercriminals who constantly vacuum up personal and financial information online.”

The Veda report found that Australians are becoming increasingly concerned about the security of their personal information, with 70 per cent of those surveyed worried about putting their information online.

According to Veda’s national data, over half of the addresses (55 per cent) used in fraudulent applications were in Greater Sydney and Melbourne.

The worst area for per capita fraudulent credit applications was Parramatta, followed closely by south-west Sydney.

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