Digital fraud of all kinds in the UK and Europe is on the rise, with forced verification and deepfakes taking up a higher percentage of cases than before, new research shows.
As for deepfakes, their share in the UK increased from 1.2% in all of 2022 to 5.9% in the first quarter of this year alone. In Germany, this share increased from 1.5% to 7.6% over the same period, and in Italy from 0.5% to 5%.
This is no doubt due to the development and proliferation of AI, kicked off by the launch of the infamous AI developer ChatGPT in November 2022. Since then, the industry has exploded with all kinds of criminals taking advantage of the new technology.
Meanwhile, printed forgeries, which accounted for 16-23% of all fraud last year, fell to 0.1% and less in Q1 2023.
Forced verification also saw a worrying increase over the same period. According to Pavel Goldman-Kalaydin, head of AI & ML at the verification platform sumsub (who discovered these findings from anonymous data collected from customers), then “you can see that the person who has been photographed or who is undergoing a vitality check is doing so involuntarily while being held by others.”
He adds that “sometimes the person being verified is obviously unconscious – maybe sleeping, maybe not feeling well, and potentially even under the influence of a substance.” In such cases, using the best protection against identity theft may be the only solution.
In Germany, the number of these cases has increased by a staggering 1,500% as a percentage of all fraud cases, from 0.3% in the whole of 2022 to 5% of all fraud in the first quarter of 2023.
In terms of the industry, consultancy was particularly hard hit, with UK fraud rates tripling from 1% to 3%. However, the situation turned around in the fintech sector, which recorded a decrease from 3% to 1%. Fraud in crypto services has doubled.
Despite this, identity document fraud remains the most common 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. Live bypass skipped with 13-16% across all regions, as did edited IDs with 14-16% in the UK, France and Germany.