40,000 ID fraud cases recorded in 2005

But rate of growth has slowed, says CIFAS

But rate of growth has slowed, says CIFAS

Identity fraud has risen by 13 per cent with almost 40,000 cases recorded in the UK in the first half of 2005, according to new figures from fraud prevention service CIFAS.

But while the CIFAS figures represent a significant increase on last year, the crime's growth rate has slowed from a 20 per cent increase in 2004.

Over 8,000 recorded cases of identity impersonation involved the use of identities belonging to dead people, and CIFAS claims this costs the UK economy an estimated £300m per year.

Neil Munroe, external affairs director of credit check agency Equifax, which is a member of CIFAS, said the increase is still worrying and urged consumers to be vigilant.

"Our research still suggests that many consumers believe 'it won't happen to me'. ID fraud always involves an innocent victim and can be very distressing. CIFAS reports that it can take up to 60 hours of work for a typical victim to sort out their life and clear their name," he said in a statement.

CIFAS has more than 240 member organisations across the banking and finance sector which share information about identified and reported frauds. It currently has more than 375,000 live records on its database.