back to article ID fraud costs UK £2.7bn a year

Identity fraud affects 1.8 million Britons every year, costing £2.7bn in the process, researcher claimed today. A study by the National Fraud Authority - published on Monday at the start of identity fraud prevention week - found that fraudsters gain by more than £1,000 from every stolen identity. Stolen credentials are used to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Fortunately the government still has all the plans left over from the previous lot.

    So they can provide a solution in the form of a national ID card, which is naturally completely different from the national ID card offered by Nu Labour and will absolutely guarantee you can get your life on track after your ID has been stolen.

    Paris, because she knows a lot about being screwed the same way over and over again by different people who pretend they're doing it differently this time.

    1. irish donkey

      What we need is a central database

      That only very few users will have access to but everybody can search...

      I think we might have something here...

  2. SynicNZ

    How much of this is just stolen credit cards

    reworded into 'fraud to get a line of credit' rather than actual ID theft.

  3. H2Nick

    Joined up govt.

    OK - I just read the steps to avoid ID theft, including the gem where one govt dept recommends opting out of the edited electoral register, run by another govt dept.

    Well here's an idea - if HM Govt knows it helps ID theft, then why doesn't HM Govt scrap it & stop selling these details.

    Result would be less ID theft & less junk mail & less crim aiding & abetting by HM Govt.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge


      .. make it mandatory that anyone wanting to harm/reduce privacy for whatever reason is made subject to their own regulations first for a trial period of two years.

  4. MinionZero


    So from the article, in one year people loosing data resulted in 1.8 million people suffering a total of £2.7bn in Identity fraud! ... Yet … At the same time we have just about every government doing all they can to spy on us in just about every way possible and so to allow them to keep spying on us, they keep showing they are doing all they can to obstruct any attempt to protect our privacy from spying, resulting in so much of our data and privacy being lost!

    In the government, in this case, its like the left hand isn't just ignoring the right hand; they are actively fighting against each other, whilst going in opposite directions!

  5. Richard IV
    Black Helicopters

    Spinning again

    Continuing on the 2 conclusions drawn from the same press release theme started by Lewis last week, I note that the BBC is focusing on the £1.9bn gained by the fraudsters.

    From what I could make out, the £800m difference goes to the banks and the government. How would they be affected if more was done to cut down on ID fraud? Is such a sum indicative of why more isn't done?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The banks do quite nicely, thank you

      Richard IV wrote: "Is such a sum indicative of why more isn't done?"

      In a word, "Yes". I only just discovered this through hard experience. My software is sold through an online store, and they recently performed a "chargeback" on my account reclaiming a significant amount of money. Apparently fraudulent credit card details had been used for the purchases, but all that happens is that the bank claws it all back from the vendor and adds its fees on top. So the bank not only loses nothing, but profits from the activity.

      I did some basic checks, and discovered the thief didn't steal someone's identity - they made one up! The person didn't exist, but it didn't stop the bank from accepting the transaction. Now that I understand what's going on, I see why this kind of theft is so prevalent.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obtaining regular statements from credit reference agencies is also recommend

    Why? Is this just a way to drum up more business for those companies that sell credit score checks? Surely if your a victim of ID theft (not that I ever met any one who has been a victim) then by the time you got your statement it's too late?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How many more committees and "authorities" have to research "cybercrime" and "identity fraud" in order to determine that a) criminals gain from it, b) someone else loses by it, c) the someone at "b" can have trouble for a long time afterwards.

    Can't we spend the money on solving it rather than employing these people endlessly to study it and report the same garbage but with a slightly different slant each time, and re-arranging the known things-to-do-to-prevent-it, into a slightly different order?

    Maybe it is just me....

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    ID Fraudsters go *looking* for people who leave their *correct* details lying around

    and *invariably* find them.

    Stop filling in details for "free" gifts and promotions (or use a specific PO Box, not your electorial roll address)

    Your shredder is your best friend. Use it.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the main point

    is that "identity", that is the model we use to stuff everybody into, works by handing over enough information to enable imersonation. This is fundamentally broken, obviously, but naturally isn't being said, because it would mean change, and change is an anathema to government. So they're not even trying. Carry on government.

  10. Anonymous Coward


    Repeated requests for references from a Credit Reference Agency will actually effect your credit reference.

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