Fraudulent credit applicants soar

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The number of fraudulent applications received by financial services firms soared by a third during the first half of the year, according to the credit reference agency Experian.

About 19 out of every 10,000 applications for credit or other financial services was found to be fraudulent during the six months to the end of June – 33 per cent more than during the second half of 2009. The rise was driven by an increase in people lying on application forms, for instance about their job status or credit histories, in an attempt to get around the strict lending criteria now employed by banks and building societies, Experian said.

The group said so-called first party fraud overtook third party fraud in the second quarter.