According to the latest Equifax report, there has been a significant increase in fraudulent activities in Canada within the automotive, credit card, and mortgage/loans sectors.
The main reasons behind this trend are linked to the financial pressures consumers are facing and the increasingly “innovative” and audacious schemes employed by fraudsters.
In the automotive sector, fraudulent activities have risen by 28% compared to the previous year. Fraud often involves identity theft or the use of counterfeit identification documents. These organized groups of thieves are using increasingly convincing fake IDs.
Equifax is urging dealerships and retailers, who have direct dealings with these individuals, to implement more effective verification processes to intercept and prevent this type of fraud.
In the mortgage/loan sector, the increase has reached 18%, with most issues arising from manipulations made by borrowers regarding their declared incomes, which are inflated to gain access to credit for property purchases.
However, as Carl Davies, Head of Fraud and Identity at Equifax Canada, points out, these are not just small lies but should be considered full-fledged frauds. There is concern that this situation will worsen further in the event of further interest rate hikes.
Credit card fraud is becoming increasingly widespread, with a +37.9% increase compared to previous reports. Fraud no longer relies solely on false information but involves a mixture of real and fake information.
Equifax is urging consumers to remain vigilant in monitoring their account statements and financial institutions to update their processes and technologies to stay ahead of fraudsters.
Managing Director of Credit Village, Roberto Sergio has more than 20 years of experience in NPL and distressed debt in the Italian and International market. He is the editor of the NPL column in Credit Village Magazine and the director of Credit Village's National NPL Market Observatory.