New figures from the fraud prevention agency Cifas have reported that the number of ID theft victims in the UK rose to 32,058 in the first three months of 2015; a 31% increase from 24,482 cases during the same period in 2014.
The figures found that criminals are mostly using people's stolen identities to set up new credit cards and bank accounts - these accounted for 41% and 27% of all identity theft cases respectively.
The figures were broadcast in a recent BBC news report on ID theft in the UK, which also revealed that identity thieves are using internet forums to share ‘tips’ and trade stolen records for as little as £5.
Jonathan Richardson, data protection expert and managing director at Russell Richardson, said: “as the awareness around data protection rises, so does the need for tighter legislation and higher penalties. With the rising numbers of people falling victim to identity theft showing no signs of slowing down, it’s imperative that organisations take more precautions to protect the details of their customers, clients and suppliers and build their trust. We always advise our clients that prevention is more cost effective than a fine and the damage to a hard earned reputation. Becoming the source of stolen data simply isn’t worth the risk.”
Full details of the BBC investigation and findings can be seen on the BBC news website.