ID cards could be a conman's paradise, fraud experts warn

The Government's plan to introduce compulsory identity cards could create a fraudster's paradise, according to leading software security and data experts.

Steve Gal, co-founder of ID Analytics, a US firm which specialises in studying fraud behavioural patterns for banks, warned it would be very difficult to prevent fraudsters getting genuine ID cards.

"My understanding is that the method of authentication will be matching of data to credit agencies' files," Gal said. "The problem with this is that criminals can get access to these files - we know of 50 million cases of personal data breach reported in the US this year."

In the US, crooks have been able to bribe staff in credit reference agencies or hack into the databases maintained by banks and other financial companies.

Experts are also concerned that government agencies' records on UK citizens may not be up to date or accurate. That would make it harder for agencies to share information in order to catch out the criminals. Barry Stamp, joint managing director of Credit Reporting Agency, said: "It's only good if you use the information and it is right."

For example, fraudsters currently find it easy to get a new driving licence simply by filling in a form and providing a photograph and basic birth certificate or passport details. Conmen obtain the details of people who have died to apply online for a birth certificate from the General Register Office. This register does not supply other agencies with details of people who have died.

"If you don't link the records to the births, deaths and marriages register, how do you know when someone dies?," Stamp said.

While there are 44 million people eligible to work in the UK, more than 60m national insurance numbers are in circulation, according to Stamp.

In fact, a wide range of different public sector agencies hold an estimated total of more than 150m records on UK citizens, with little cross-checking taking place.

National insurance numbers are held by the Department of Work and Pensions, birth certificates are lodged at the General Register Office while motoring details are maintained by the Driving Vehicle and Licensing Agency. HM Revenue and Customs holds tax details and criminal records are held by each of the UK's 43 police forces. Electoral roll data is held by over 450 local councils.

Mark Jones, a former director of fraud prevention at Direct Line, said: "The government needs to get its act together with the databases they have - there is no cohesive strategy."

Dr James Hart, commissioner of the economic crime unit and chairman of the Association of Chief Police Officers' economic crime portfolio, said it was crucial for there to be an extension to the testing process.

"This could be done gently so that the vulnerability of the technology could be looked at in a controlled way," he said. "The validity of the technology is pivotal and there needs to be more than one method of establishing identity."

Hart called for testing to take place over time so a system could evolve to take advantage of the latest technology, and warned ministers not to commit to a set time frame too soon.

Graham Lund, head of new product development at the credit reference agency CallCredit, said ID cards were a major concern.

"We have some reservations dependent on how tough the security measures are," Lund said. "We would need to be confident the system was producing bona fide cards and that there would not be a large number of duplicates."

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
people

Tennis star is set to marry his long-term girlfriend, Kim Sears

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
filmThe singers widow and former bandmates have approved project
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manchester, £18k

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Langley James : IT Support; Helpdesk, VMware; Manch...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - HRO - £70k+ ote

    £35000 - £450000 per annum + £3k car, £70k ote: h2 Recruit Ltd: Do you want to...

    Citifocus Ltd: Newly Qualified Accountants - Risk Mgmt

    £Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Prestigious financial institution seeks to...

    Citifocus Ltd: Operational Risk Analyst

    £Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Experienced operational risk professional with ban...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?