Identity fraud now costs £1.9bn, says fraud authority

Shredded documents Stolen identities enable other types of crime, the NFA warns

Fraudsters obtain more than £1,000 from every identity they steal, official figures suggest.

The National Fraud Authority (NFA) said fraudsters who stole identities had gained £1.9bn in the past year.

Their frauds had affected 1.8 million people, the NFA estimated.

It said the stolen identities had been put to a variety of dishonest uses, such as buying goods or services, obtaining state benefits, or opening bank accounts under false identities.

The NFA, set up in 2008, said its figures had been worked out with the help of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.

Start Quote

Stolen and false identities are a significant enabler of crime”

End Quote Dr Bernard Herdan NFA

Dr Bernard Herdan, the chief executive of the NFA, pointed out that stolen identities were often used to commit crimes other than fraud.

This included dodging the police or other law enforcement agencies, terrorism and people trafficking.

"Stolen and false identities are a significant enabler of crime," said Dr Herdan.

"Losses from identity theft and false identities don't just affect the individual, but also hit the public and private sectors."

The NFA estimated that businesses and organisations lost £800m a year due to the expense of trying to combat identity fraud.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • OrangemanPunctured pride?

    How would N Ireland's Orangemen feel if Scotland left the union?


  • Sheep on Achill IslandMass exodus

    Why hundreds of thousands of people have left Ireland


  • MarchionessThames tragedy

    Survivors and victims' families remember Marchioness disaster


  • A teenaged mother in the Zaatari campUntold misery

    The plight of Syria's refugee child brides


  • Michael MosleyMeat feast?

    Which is the best eco option - eating beef, chicken or mussels?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.