Two out of three fraud cases in the UK last year involved identity theft.
That's according to CIFAS, the UK's Fraud Prevention Service which counts hundreds of banks and other financial services organisations amongst its membership.
The figures, published in a new report last week, suggest that fraud rose to a record level in the UK in 2012 as an increasing number of criminals obtained people's personal details and used them to obtain money dishonestly. 65% of the 248,325 fraud cases reported last year involved stolen identities. Hacking into computers, duping people into revealing their personal details via phishing emails and post, intercepting letters and other printed documents and carrying out other scams enables fraudsters to steal identities, which they then use to illegally access bank accounts or pretend to be their victims by creating new accounts.
A CIFAS spokesperson said that organisations are now "ensuring extra steps are taken to validate the identity of people with whom they are dealing".
CIFAS is a not-for-profit membership association representing the private and public sectors. It is dedicated to the prevention of fraud, including staff fraud, and the identification of financial and related crime. CIFAS operates both the National Fraud Database (NFD) and the Staff Fraud Database (SFD).