UK.gov urged to crack down on ID theft

Wednesday, 23 July 2003, 11:35 AM EST

The Government has been urged to take steps to help combat the growing problem of identity fraud, which costs the UK economy a massive £1.3 billion a year.

A new report by the Fraud Advisory Panel (FAP) argues the government needs to clarify situations in which data-sharing between businesses is lawful in order to tackle the problem.

The number of identity thefts in Britain rose from 27,270 in 2001 to 42,029 last year, costing victims an estimated £62.5 million per year.

The problem is also not easy to resolve – according to the Home Office it takes an average of 300 hours for victims of identity fraud to reverse the damage done.

The report outlines methods used by fraudsters, including obtaining false passports and other documents under different names.

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