Figures from the National Fraud Authority (NFA) estimate that identity fraud within the UK costs more than £2.7 billion every year. The numbers also state that identity fraud affects over 1.8 million people.
In a news release on their website, the NFA announced at least £1.9 billion of this amount is gained by the fraudster. Those figures mean fraudsters gain over £1,000 from each stolen identity, on average.
Criminals use stolen identities to obtain a wide variety of goods, services and benefits in the victims' name amongst many other frauds and crimes, evading detection and enabling people trafficking and terrorism. Criminals often look to obtain genuine documents, such as passports, birth certificates and driving licenses. But these aren't the only ways criminals can steal your identity. Utility bills, online passwords and account numbers are other methods; information which many people still add to their social networking profiles.
These figures are obtained from the first ever UK ID Crime Strategic Threat Assessment, completed by the NFA in partnership with the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
The full news release, and fraud prevention advice can be found on the National Fraud Authority's website.