Increased levels of fraud, in general, should come as no surprise. And even less of one after glancing at the DeepDotWeb frontpage where no mistake regarding fraud, cybercrime, or hacking could possibly be made; on almost a daily basis, a new indecent occurs. A major company takes a hit, the United States indicts another hacker, or researchers find a new database dump listed on a darknet marketplace.
However, countries rarely report a doubling in any sector of cybercrime. But a report from the Netherlands revealed just that. The Netherlands revealed a major increase in the Identity fraud and theft sectors, both of which the Dutch people have struggled with for some time. In 2012, the Central Bureau Of Statistics (or the Central Statistics Agency) reported that 200,000 Dutch fell victim to one form of identity fraud or another. The majority accidentally swiped their credit cards at locations with card skimmers implemented. Regardless, 200,000 people is one-and-a-half percent of the Dutch population, counting only those who were above the age of 15.
According to the ANP report in 2015, 805 people reported an instance of identity fraud. The records came from the Identity Fraud Hotline, so they were not all confirmed cases of identity fraud. Merely reports. The ANP said that people may take advantage of the abuse of the identity fraud hotline, creating an artificial statistical model. And they used that explanation regarding the 2016 figures that quite literally “more than doubled“ those of 2015.
The hotline, in 2016, received 1,724 individual reports of identity fraud. ANP representatives gave no sound explanation as to why the numbers spiked. They speculated, however, that a recent government campaign pushed increased awareness of identity theft, as intended. And, as a result, more victims of the crime reached out when existence of the hotline became known.
Alternatively, a spokesperson for the ANP told the press, the increased awareness, possibly encouraged abuse of the system. Really via the same reasoning the increased awareness possibly helped those otherwise unaware of the bottle; the more publicity the hotline received, the greater the odds of abuse rose. Fraud reports recently moved to the internet—the hotline opened itself to a wider range of people, inherently.
The report gave a breakdown of the type of identity fraud that occurred. Starting at the most cases, the majority involved identity fraud, passports, and IDs; misuse of public information like addresses and phone numbers; passport fraud; ID fraud and a separate category for drivers licenses.
A spokesperson told a news outlet that people “therefore can’t say that more ID fraud was committed, but that more was reported.“