Number of young people falling victim to money scams increases by 24%

Written by Oliver Wade

In the first nine months of the year, 3,527 young people experienced identity fraud, an increase of 24% when compared to 2017, according to figures from anti-fraud organisation Cifas.

Most of the cases involved debit, credit and store cards, including instances where criminals have applied to banks to get the cards issues in false names.

Commenting, Cifas chief executive officer Mike Haley said: “Our new figures are alarming to say the least.

“For all of us, as parents, teachers, and responsible citizens, we have a duty to ensure we're taking every opportunity to educate young people on the dangers of becoming a fraud victim - and equally, a perpetrator of fraud.”

In a majority of cases, the banks usually accept liability where individuals have not been negligent.

Furthermore, the Cifas figures indicated an increase in the number of youngsters becoming ‘money mules’. In the first nine months of 2018, as many as 9,636 people under the age of 21 agreed that criminals could use their bank accounts to launder cash.

The figure represents a 26% increase on the same period in 2017. This offence can carry a prison sentence of up to 14 years, or individuals can be denied the use of a bank account for up to six years.

The organisation is now urging banks to do more to warn young people about the dangers of such fraud.

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