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IDnow launches inaugural fraud survey

A major survey into attitudes and knowledge around fraud in the UK has been unveiled, with findings indicating a lack of knowledge around key tactics used by fraudsters, leaving Brits vulnerable to this crime, which is seeing exponential growth.

Commissioned by Manchester’s IDnow, a leading identity verification platform provider, the YouGov survey of 2,264 people has uncovered that almost half (45%) of UK adults were aware that scans or photos of their ID documents could be obtained by criminals to be used to commit fraud – yet sent the documents via digital channels, such as email, social media and messenger apps anyway.

Such activity could lead to identity theft, which IDnow believes should be a concern to the UK public, especially given the rise in deepfake technology. Developments in generative artificial intelligence (AI) mean deepfake technology can be used to create realistic fake documents, as well as videos. However, the survey found that less than a third (31%) of Britons know what deepfake documents are and are aware of the potential risks posed by digitally generated images of physical documents.

Lovro Persen, director document and fraud at IDnow, said: “Many of us have seen the uncanny deepfake videos of celebrities that spread like wildfire across the internet, showing how easy it is to emulate the likeness of someone using AI. But worryingly, this research suggests that the UK public is not as concerned, or aware as they should be, of the risks associated with such digitally generated images or videos.

“The extraordinary leaps in AI technology mean it’s now almost too easy for a fraudster to carry out financial crimes. Consumers shouldn’t make it even easier for fraudsters though. Our advice is always to think twice before sending a scan or photo of your driving licence or passport into the digital ether via unencrypted channels, such as social media or email.”

The survey, IDnow’s first, found that 48% of 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed have shared ID documents via such risky channels, compared with just 21% of over-55s, highlighting the potential need to better educate the younger generation on digital fraud threats.

In terms of the likelihood of being a victim of crime, a fifth (21%) of Brits believe they are most at risk of someone hacking their social media profile. Social media was the primary security concern for those aged 18- to 24-years-old, with every other age group citing their main worry as someone accessing their bank account through identity fraud.

Doug Pollock, vice president customer success at IDnow, said: “We hope these findings highlight the massive impact online fraud continues to have on British people. Because fraudsters work across industries, regions and use cases, it’s vital we all work together – financial services, technology providers, government, law enforcement and the public – to identify and stop fraudsters before it’s too late.”

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