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Identity Theft

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate he has made of the number of people subject to identity theft in each year since 2002; (110757)

(2) how many and what proportion of persons subject to identity theft were (a) under 18 years of age and (b) under 12 years of age in each year since 2002.

The information sought is not available centrally because there is no single offence of identity theft. However, questions have been incorporated into the British Crime Survey and the results should give us more information about the victims of this type of crime. Due to the economic motive for identity theft, the number of victims under 18 years of age and 12 years of age is likely to be very low.

In addition, the 250 members of CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service for the private sector (mainly financial services companies), recorded 32,737 victims of identity fraud in 2002, 43,094 in 2003, 50,455 in 2004, 56,200 in 2005 and 51,025 for the first three quarters of 2006 (CIFAS estimate that this will rise to 68,000 for the entire year).

CIFAS also commissioned Perpetual Research and Consultancy International (PRCI) Ltd to conduct a study to access the impact of identity fraud on victims. The report ‘Identity Fraud: What about the victim?’ included an assessment of all of the 55,548 victims of impersonation recorded on the CIFAS database as at the end of July 2005. Of these, 1 per cent. were under 21 years of age.