By Maximilian Clarke

Attempted mortgage fraud increased dramatically in the three months to the end of September 2011, Experian’s latest fraud index shows.

49 in every 10,000 mortgage applications were found to be fraudulent, 77 per cent up on the same period in 2010 and 53 per cent more than in Q2 2011.

Current accounts also continued to be frequently targeted by fraudsters, with 30 in every 10,000 applications being revealed as fraudulent. Although this represents an increase of 48 per cent on Q3 2010, it was 30 per cent lower than in Q2 2011. Fraudulent savings account applications increased in Q3, up 47 per cent year on year and 16 per cent over the last quarter.

Attempted fraud in the automotive finance sector fell for the fifth consecutive quarter. 21 in every 10,000 applications were found to be fraudulent in Q3 2011, down 49 per cent on the year, and 12 per cent on the quarter.

“More than 90 per cent of mortgage fraud tends to originate from genuine individuals misrepresenting their financial situations attempting to buy property that would ordinarily be out of reach,” said Nick Mothershaw, Director of Identity & Fraud at Experian UK & Ireland. “Current accounts continue to be frequently targeted, which combined with the growth in savings account fraud, points towards an increasing trend for deposit accounts to be targeted for money laundering purposes or to then be used as a springboard to more lucrative credit products.”

Experian’s Fraud Index utilises data from the National Hunter and Insurance Hunter fraud prevention systems, which Experian manages on behalf of its clients. These systems enable financial companies to analyse applications alongside previous ones and highlight inconsistencies which may be indicative of fraud.

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