ID Fraud – What Information Is Out There?
I recently received an e-mail from a client saying that they had been subject to cheque fraud – the second time this had happened to them in a month. Basically, someone presented a fake cheque for cash and the supporting ID used was a fake driving licence of the client. The cheque was honoured by the bank – even though the real cheque was still in the client’s possession (nicely sealed in a brand new cheque book!). The client has been reassured that they will be reimbursed. The most chilling part of this is that the fraudster managed to replicate the client’s driving licence for presentation at the bank. Where did some of the details come from? On public records. The bank took a copy of the ID when paying out and showed this to the client. The fake driving licence had the address on public record at Companies House. How did the client know? There was a spelling mistake in his address on public record and the same mistake was on the fake ID!
We all need to be vigilant when any of our private information gets published in the public domain. Needless to say immediate corrective action was taken to remove this client’s private address at Companies House. Please contact your Barnes Roffe partner and we can check what information is held at Companies House, and associated websites, and we can take steps to use ‘service addresses’ which use the company’s Registered Office rather than a private address.
The above situation is known as ‘Financial Identity Fraud’ and this can come in many different types. To get an understanding of the varying types of Financial Fraud and how to protect yourself, Financial Fraud Action, who are responsible for leading the collective fight against Financial Fraud on behalf of the UK banking and payments industry, offers wide-ranging and comprehensive advice on this subject: http://www.financialfraudaction.org.uk/
Companies House are aware that fraudsters are sending bogus e-mails claiming to be from Companies House and have issued the following security advice: http://resources.companieshouse.gov.uk/securityAdvice/index.shtml.
On a wider point, if you have been the unfortunate victim of fraud or want to seek additional support then the Action Fraud Website is very useful and offers comprehensive advice on all types of fraud: http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/types_of_fraud.Talk to Barnes Roffe today