Record rise in current account fraud
The number of people lying on current account application forms has reached its highest level on record, according to new research.
In the first three months of this year, 44 out of every 10,000 applications were fraudulent, which is 23% higher than the last quarter of 2011, the Experian report showed.
Overall this helped push up the rate of fraud among all financial services by 16% since the last quarter of 2011, and made current accounts the most targeted financial product by fraudsters.
Of those committing this fraud, 38% tried to hide poor credit histories and 39% involved incidents where people attempted to make payments when they didn't have enough money in their accounts.
"Experian's data shows further growth in current account fraud during the first quarter of 2012, mostly emanating from individuals providing false information attempting to open new accounts or obtain overdrafts or making payments they knowingly couldn't afford," says Nick Mothershaw, UK director of identity and fraud services at Experian.
"The threat of identity fraudsters seeking to open accounts in the names of unsuspecting third parties, for money laundering or as a springboard to attempt fraud on more lucrative credit products, also remains," he adds.
Attempts of insurance fraud were also up by 37%, the highest level since late 2009, with 13 in every 10,000 applications and claims detected as fraudulent.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.