New research from Experian has revealed that the number of fraudulent car finance applications rose by 30.4 per cent during the first three quarters of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.
Kirk Fletcher, managing director of Experian’s automotive division, believes that the high value nature of vehicles makes the automotive industry "a prime target for fraud".
Mr Fletcher explained that over the last 18 months, financial services providers offering loans and mortgages have been tightening their lending criteria. This, he thinks, has led to fraud-minded criminals turning their attentions to the automotive market.
Despite applications for car finance beginning to slow down in August and September, fraudulent applications have continued to rise.
During the last four years, the total number of fraudulent applications for car finance has increased by over four and half times, representing a total value of over £147 million.
Mr Fletcher said: "In today’s tough trading environment, automotive businesses need to focus on mitigating their exposure to risk and the latest fraud detection and prevention technologies support the sales process when quick decisions on car loan applications are needed."
Written by Roxy Moran