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ID Theft Statistics UK Edition [2022]

Identity theft is much more common than you might think. Identity theft refers to the stealing of personal information for financial gain. The CIFAS, which is the UK’s leading fraud prevention department, has found more than 10,000 posts on the dark web relating to identity theft. 

A stolen identity can be used to commit credit card fraud, apply for banking accounts, apply for loans, purchase goods, and so on. Identity theft can be done in various ways, while the most common way is called phishing. Being aware of how identity theft in the UK occurs is the most effective way to counter it. 

Here are a few ID theft statistics UK that will show you the bigger picture.  

Top Ten ID Theft Statistics UK

  • A survey conducted in October 2019 found that 45% of the respondents in the UK had experienced an attempt at personal data fraud in the last three months. 
  • There were 226,000 reported cases of identity fraud in the UK in 2021. 
  • The hardest-hit age group for identity fraud in 2020 was 60+. 
  • Identity fraud accounted for 63% of all cases of fraud recorded to the NFD in 2021. 
  • 22% of reported identity theft cases in 2019 were for the purpose of gaining access to bank accounts.
  • A survey in October 2019 found that at least 6 per cent of respondents in the UK had experienced attempted online identity theft in the last three years. 
  • According to a survey between October to November 2018, 76% of respondents viewed identity theft as a serious crime in the UK. 
  • Criminals stealing identities to buy goods online accounts for more than one-third of online retail fraud. 
  • According to an October 2019 survey, 38% of respondents were “fairly concerned” about online identity theft. 
  • 91% of identity fraud cases reported in 2021 took place online.

Identity Theft Statistics UK

A survey in October 2019 found that at least 6 per cent of respondents in the UK had experienced attempted online identity theft in the last three years

 The survey found that 4% of the people had been victims of identity theft at least once over the last three years. 1% of the respondents said they had experienced attempted identity theft twice or thrice over the previous three years. Another 1% said that it had happened to them more than three times. These statistics clearly show that online identity theft is far more common than we realise. 

A survey conducted in October 2019 found that 45% of the respondents in the UK had reported experiencing an attempt at personal data fraud in the last three months

Personal data fraud is far more commonplace than most people give it credit. Personal data fraud refers to the act of stealing and using personal data stored on computers, servers, etc. It can include the identity and bank details of the victim, which could lead to monetary theft. Personal data fraud is the biggest reason why spending on cybersecurity has also been on the rise.

How many identities are stolen each year in the UK? 226,000 cases were recorded in 2021

How common is identity theft in the UK? The number of identity theft cases recorded in the UK grew by 22% in 2021. Although identity fraud primarily affected the credit card and banking sectors, it also targeted the internet retail and loan sectors.

According to Fraudscape, 24% of victims were above the age of 61

The majority of identity fraud victims were over the age of 31, which is likely due to the fact that they had a higher credit score than their younger counterparts. The largest increase, however, was among victims over the age of 61. This demographic is disproportionately targeted for credit cards and bank accounts.

Identity fraud accounted for 63% of all cases of fraud reported to the CIFAS in 2021

Identity fraud in the UK, the most common type of fraud in these parts, has also been rising consistently over the past five years, with more and more cases being reported to the CIFAS.  

91% of identity fraud cases reported in 2021 took place online

What is the most common form of identity theft? Identity theft with the purpose of obtaining credit card information remains the most common type of identity theft. The CEO of CIFAS has noted that there is an ever-growing need to come up with safe ways to store data online, as online data theft has been growing steadily over the past few years. 

22% of reported identity theft cases in 2019 were for the purpose of gaining access to bank accounts

Gaining access to bank accounts accounted for the second most common reason for identity theft. These attempts at fraud were also made through digital/online means. 

According to CIFAS, the number of identity fraud cases reported rose 18% in 2019 compared to the previous year

In 2020, CIFAS stated that the number of identity fraud cases in the UK rose steadily over the past five years. The number of cases in 2019 was 32% more than in 2015. That shows the growing need for better fraud prevention techniques in the financial space in the UK. 

Fraud rates rose in April 2020 due to the disruption caused to businesses by the spread of the coronavirus

According to data from Experian, fraud cases rose 33% in April 2020 as fraudsters took advantage of the lockdown in the UK. Most of the rise was accounted for by the increase in fraudulent car and asset finance applications.  

Unauthorized financial fraud losses through payment cards, online banking, and cheques were £783.8 million in 2020

This is a decrease of 5% compared to 2019. In 2020, banks and card companies prevented £1.6 billion in unauthorised frauds. The financial cost of identity theft in the UK is quite staggering. Card-related identity theft alone cost the UK millions of pounds in 2020.

According to an October 2019 survey, 38% of respondents were “fairly concerned” about online identity theft

With the rising number of incidences of online identity theft and the increasing financial cost of identity theft, it is justified that people living in the UK are concerned about online identity theft. Everyone needs to be careful when doing business online or sharing their personal information online since the chances of identity theft online are pretty high. People in the UK should take steps to educate themselves about online identity fraud and how it takes place to reduce the chances of being a victim of such a crime. 

According to a survey between October to November 2018, 76% of respondents viewed identity theft as a serious crime in the UK. Only 1% of respondents thought that it was a minor crime

To tackle identity theft, it is essential that it be seen as a serious crime. Fraud is the most common type of crime in the UK, and identity theft is a popular type of fraud. These types of crimes cost the UK economy billions of pounds every year. 

Criminals stealing identities to buy goods online accounts for more than one-third of online retail fraud

Online identity theft can be used in several different ways. The most common use of identity theft is committing credit card theft. Once a credit card is stolen, criminals can use it to purchase goods online or even offline. Hence, it is vital that a victim of fraud immediately block the use of their debit and credit cards and inform Action Fraud.

Wrap Up

Identity theft or identity fraud is a severe crime that can have dire repercussions. The public in the UK should be aware that identity theft has become a common crime in the 21st century, and they should educate themselves on ways to prevent it. These identity fraud figures have been compiled to increase public awareness. 

How can you check to see if your identity has been stolen in the UK? 

Keep track of your bank account statements and flag any unknown transactions. 

How to prevent identity theft in the UK?

Always verify before sharing personal or banking details.

The punishment for identity theft in the UK depends on the nature of the crime and can result in a prison sentence. 

We hope that you have found these identity theft statistics UK helpful.  

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