The real cost of ID theft cannot be measured by the £1.7 billion financial cost, warns a new report.
“Identity theft has devastating, extremely stressful and often long-term consequences for its victims,” said Claire Whyley of the National Consumer Council (NCC).
“They are left struggling on their own to unravel a complex web of knock-on effects across a plethora of companies and organisations. Too often they are treated as criminals, caught up in a lonely Kafka-esque nightmare of trying to prove who they are.
“Their life goes on hold. Their bank no longer recognises them. They’re refused credit. And they get chased for the unpaid bills of the fraudsters who’ve stolen their name,” she added.
The NCC has called on finance companies to install dedicated ID fraud units to help customers who fall victim to fraudsters.
Sector-wide support is needed in banking, insurance, credit mobile phone and utilities industries, added the NCC.
Fraudsters are able to use peoples’ identities if they manage to compare credit cards against other personal information to form a paper picture of a person.
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