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Lewis Maddison

Fraud of all kinds is only getting worse in the UK and EU


Digital fraud of all kinds across the UK and Europe is on the rise, with forced verification and deepfakes taking up a greater proportion of cases than before, new research has claimed.

With regards to the deepfakes, its proportion in the UK rose from 1.2% during the whole of 2022 to 5.9% in Q1 of this year alone. In Germany its proportion increased from 1.5% to 7.6% over the same period, and from 0.5% to 5% in Italy.

This is no doubt due to the rise and proliferation of AI, ignited by the launch of the now-infamous AI writer ChatGPT in November 2022. Since then, the industry has exploded, with all manner of criminals making use of the new technology.

Forced verification

Meanwhile, printed forgeries, which accounted for 16-23% of all fraud last year, dropped to 0.1% and less in Q1 2023.

Forced verification has also seen a worrying increase over the same period. According to Pavel Goldman-Kalaydin, Head of AI & ML at verification platform Sumsub (who discovered these findings based on anonymized data collected from clients), this is when "it is visible that a person whose photo is taken or who’s passing the liveness check is doing so involuntarily while being held by others’ force."

He adds that, "sometimes the person being verified is obviously unconscious—maybe sleeping, perhaps not feeling well, or potentially even under the influence of substances." In cases such as these, using the best identity theft protection may be your only recourse.

In Germany, these cases grew by a staggering 1500% as a proportion of all fraud cases, from 0.3% in the full year 2022 to 5% of all fraud in Q1 2023.

In terms of industry, consulting appeared to be particularly badly hit, with the proportion of fraud cases tripling in the UK from 1% to 3%. The situation was reversed in the fintech sector, however, as it saw a decrease from 3% to 1%. Fraud in crypto services doubled, though.

Despite this, identity document forgery is still the most popular type of fraud in the UK and EU, accounting for 40% of all cases in the UK and Italy, and over 25% in Germany and Spain. Liveness bypass followed with 13-16% across the regions, as did edited ID cards with 14-16% in the UK, France and Germany. 

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