The £1.7bn ID fraud figure is itself a fraud
Some more data to back up the point made by the previous poster:
In July 2002 the Cabinet Office published a study saying ID fraud costs the country £1.3 billion per year. In February 2006 the Home Office revised this figure upwards to £1.7 billion. Ministers have quoted these figures repeatedly to justify the huge cost of their National Identity Scheme. However, they don't stand up to independent scrutiny. For instance:
* The 2002 report shows £370 million of identity fraud reported by APACS, the bank clearing service for plastic cards and cheques, but APACS itself says the real figure was only £20.6 million – about 6% of the government's claim.
* The Cabinet Office says identity fraud cost the insurance industry £250 million in 2002, but in June 2005 the Association of British Insurers told reporter Andrew Gilligan "I'm not sure where that figure comes from. It's not from us. ... Insurance fraud tends to be people claiming in their real names for false losses. ID fraud is not a particularly big problem in the insurance sector".
* The 2002 and 2006 reports both include £215 million for Missing Trader Intra-Community" (MTIC) fraud, also known as Carousel Fraud, where goods are bought and sold by fictitious companies in different countries in the EU, with VAT which was never actually paid "claimed back" from EU governments. However, a spokesman for HM Revenue & Customs told Andrew Gilligan "We wouldn't normally describe MTIC fraud as ID fraud".
Once these and other dubious "costs" of identity fraud have been excluded, the true cost of identity fraud to the UK has been estimated at £150 million in 2002, or about 12% of the government's figure.
 Cabinet Office, "Identity Fraud: A Study", July 2002, Annex B, page 73, http://www.identitycards.gov.uk/downloads/id_fraud-report.pdf
 Home Office, "Updated estimate of the cost of identity fraud to the UK economy", 2 February 2006, http://www.identitytheft.org.uk/ID%20fraud%20table.pdf
 Riten Gohil, APACS, "Information, Identity Theft and the Internet", November 2004, page 5, http://www.ecb.int/events/pdf/conferences/epayments2004/041110_eConf_Gohil.pdf
 Andrew Gilligan, "Revealed: how Blair is playing the fear card", Evening Standard, 20 June 2005, http://www.spy.org.uk/spyblog/2005/06/evening_standard_andrew_gillig.html