Fraud warning to 40-somethings

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Men in their 40s are most likely to fall victim to identity fraud, according to Cifas, the UK's fraud- prevention service. But criminals are not picky when it comes to the accounts they apply for in the victim's name.

Research shows that the average fraudulent bank account application was made on behalf of a man aged 47 or a woman aged 46. The average fake mortgage application was made using the details of a 39-year-old woman or a 48-year-old man. Men aged 46 and women aged 43 are most likely to have their information used to take out credit cards.

Peter Hurst, the chief executive of Cifas, said the middle aged could be easier to target: "The more tech-savvy, younger sections of society are more aware of the need to protect their data. Large debts are also a way of life for young people, which may discourage fraudsters from stealing an identity of someone who may not be granted the [credit] facility the fraudster seeks, anyway.

"As a result, those in their 40s – who may be seen as more resource rich and burden light – become a particular niche group to exploit."

Mr Hurst urged consumers to protect themselves from ID fraud by shredding all documents before disposing of them, and checking bank statements carefully and reporting any transactions that are not identifiable,

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