PHS Datashred alarmed by the rise of Identity Fraud in 2013

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As a new report reveals that personal details are driving the vast majority of cases of fraud in the UK, PHS Datashred advises businesses to safeguard their data against fraudsters to prevent a steep financial penalty.

PHS Datashred
Personal details are now driving the vast majority of fraudulent activity.

According to the Fraudscape Bulletin 2013, fake identity details and identity fraud now account for over half (52 per cent) of all fraud occurring in the UK, an increase on the last six months of 2012.

Based on the CIFAS National Fraud Database, the report compared the number of frauds that occurred in the first half of 2013 with those in the second half of 2012. Almost 114,000 confirmed frauds were recorded by the CIFAS- the UK fraud prevention trade association- in the first half of 2013, a slight decrease of 3 per cent.

However, two thirds of all frauds now relate directly to the abuse of personal details, with identity fraud accounting for 52 per cent and account takeover frauds for 14 per cent. Shredding company PHS Datashred believes that this highlights the importance of secure disposal of confidential information, particularly for UK businesses.

Anthony Pearlgood, Managing Director of PHS Datashred, said: “Personal details are now driving the vast majority of fraudulent activity, with fraudsters commonly impersonating an innocent victim, or hijacking the running of a secure account.

“The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can fine businesses up to £500,000 if they are found to breach the Data Protection Act by failing to store and dispose of personal data correctly. PHS Datashred believes that organisations must now take more care than ever when safeguarding information, ensuring that they shred any confidential documents before throwing them away.”

PHS Datashred explains that the Data Protection Act 1998 covers a wide range of data, including information held on customers, employees and suppliers. Collected by all business sectors, without appropriate destruction, this sensitive information leaves the company open to identity theft.

Anthony Pearlgood said: “Invoices, application forms, employee records and financial accounts are all commonly held documents that could be used by criminals in cases of identity fraud.

“Using a secure shredding company like PHS Datashred is the best way organisations can protect themselves and their customers against fraudsters and hefty fines. PHS Datashred offers on-site shredding or off-site confidential information destruction to BS15713:2009 standard, as well as a full audit trail.

“With the Fraudscape Bulletin showing a rise in identity theft, it is more important than ever that businesses start to develop improved ways of safeguarding their data. Secure shredding and recycling is the best way of doing so.”


Notes for editors
About PHS
The PHS Group is a leading workplace services provider, and has traded in the UK since 1963. It has a diverse service portfolio aimed at improving work and leisure spaces, while making life much easier for facilities, building and people managers.

PHS really does ‘do more than you think’, providing products and services for:

  •     Crate rental and packaging
  •     Interior and exterior planting
  •     Laundry equipment and workwear
  •     Matting and flooring
  •     Records storage and management
  •     Shredding and recycling
  •     Testing and compliance
  •     Washrooms
  •     Waste management
  •     Water machines
  •     Workplace consumables

PHS provides these direct to UK companies, and also operates as a tier one supplier to the facilities management market, supporting the integrated service propositions of most of the major FMs.

The PHS Group’s annual turnover for the year ending March 2012 was £422 million. It employs around 5,000 personnel, operates from a wide network of 153 regional service branches, and takes care of over 250,000 customers at over 450,000 locations in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium and Spain.

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Chloe Hibbert
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