As we approach the second half of 2024 and head towards 2025, there is an alarming concern for law firms and financial businesses as ID fraud is set to become the dominant form of bank-reported fraud in the UK. Current projections suggest it could constitute 50% of all such cases, highlighting a rapidly escalating issue that demands immediate and comprehensive action. The rising threat of ID fraud is a major concern not just for banks and law firms but leading authorities tackling financial crime and sophisticated fraud cases.

The Rising Threat of ID Fraud – Concerns Highlighted

Synectics Solutions, the steward of the UK’s largest database of syndicated risk intelligence, has brought this alarming trend to light. According to their analysis, as of 2023, ID fraud already accounts for 45% of all adverse contributions. Notably, fraud originating online is identified as the most significant threat to the financial sector, underlining the digital dimension of this growing problem.

Chris Lewis, Head of Solutions at Synectics, underscores the delicate balance required to address this issue. He warns of the potential financial exclusion for ‘ID Poor’ customers, a demographic experiencing consistent year-on-year growth. This concern is echoed in the Government’s 2024 report on public trust in digital identity services, highlighting the risks of mishandling the response to ID fraud.

Proactive Measures and Detailed Insights

In response to this challenge, Synectics Solutions has taken proactive steps by identifying the most prevalent forms of ID fraud and providing guidance on inclusive verification measures. The National SIRA database, a crucial asset in this battle, holds over 300 million rows of data, with 72% of 2023 entries relating to internet-based interactions. Within this subset, 37% pertain to ID fraud cases, emphasising the digital nature of the threat.

A Breakdown of Fraud Cases

The detailed analysis by Synectics reveals several key insights into the nature of these fraud cases:

– 24% involved fictitious applicant names.

– 27% were instances of address detail theft.

– 28% involved key details such as names and addresses linked to previously flagged applications for potential ID fraud.

Tomas Brown, Analytics Consultant at Synectics, points out the growing sophistication of ID fraud tactics. The emergence of synthetic IDs, which blend fake and real data to create credible identities, poses a significant detection challenge. This sophistication necessitates equally advanced measures to combat it.

The Need for Robust ID Verification Processes

The UK’s digital transformation, driven by the Government’s Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF), highlights the critical need for robust online ID verification processes. Chris Lewis, also a board member of the Open Identity Exchange (OIX), advises financial institutions to adopt solutions that cross-verify ID details against multiple authoritative sources and utilise risk scoring based on digital interaction patterns. This dual approach aims to reduce false positives and prevent the unjust exclusion of ‘ID Poor’ customers.

Navigating the Future: Security and Inclusivity

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the financial sector faces the challenge of securing digital identities while fostering inclusivity. The insights and recommendations from Synectics Solutions provide a clear roadmap for navigating this complex terrain. By striking the right balance between stringent fraud prevention measures and inclusive practices, financial institutions can protect all customers, particularly those most vulnerable to exclusion.

Despite the challenges, there are solutions for financial businesses and law firms attempting to navigate complex identification challenges and sophisticated criminal networks. Verify 365, combined with our innovative DynamicID technology, is the ultimate AML and compliance client onboarding platform, enabling you to complete fast, biometric identification checks to know your customer (KYC) and know your business (KYB). Our award-winning advanced biometric and NFC technology ensures you can identify an individual within a few short minutes and decipher if their information is accurate, confirming they are who they say they are.

Our identification checks are fully compliant with the regulatory guidelines set by the regulatory body. Our technology is helping firms and businesses across the UK tackle identity fraud and money laundering challenges head-on with effective and innovative tools that are changing the legal and financial landscape.

The threat of ID fraud is not just a future concern; it is a present reality that requires immediate and concerted efforts. The financial sector must heed the warnings and insights provided by Synectics Solutions, embracing advanced verification methods and inclusive strategies. Only by doing so can they ensure robust protection against fraud while maintaining trust and accessibility for all customers. As we move towards 2025, the imperative to act has never been more urgent.