Nearly half of financial frauds being uncovered involve criminals trying to use someone else’s stolen personal details, Experian warns. The credit checking company says that identity theft is a “significant and rising threat,” accounting for 46 percent of financial frauds detected this year – that’s almost double the rate of cases seen in 2012 (27 percent).

According to the Express & Star, financial firms are improving their identity theft detection when the criminal tries to apply for an account. Some 25 out of every 10,000 card applications were detected as fraudulent in the first half of 2013, up from 14 in every 10,000 applications in the first six months of 2012.

Known cases of savings account fraud have also risen to 17 in every 10,000 applications from 13 per 10,000 in 2012.

However, recent studies have suggested that improvements to fraud detection and new technology are driving criminals to resort to more “old-fashioned” methods, such as merely pretending to be someone else, the article says.

A higher rate of cases involving motor finance fraud was uncovered in the first half of the year – 62 percent of these cases involved people trying to hide a poor credit history. Twenty-three percent of mortgage frauds involved people trying to mask bad credit, and Experian says it is seeing rising levels of people trying to hide the fact that they are using a property for buy-to-let purposes.