Victims of identity theft have come out in support of a one-stop support shop, the National Consumer Council (NCC) has said.
Identity theft currently costs the UK economy £1.7 billion every year, affecting as many as 100,000 people. But despite the considerable heart ache that the crime can cause, especially when it is committed the name of a dead relative, only companies are legally victims.
As a result, many victims cannot obtain crime numbers to regain their stolen names and prove their identity. The NCC has proposed that a one-stop shop is opened to assist victims and help prevent further fraud.
“We are calling on business ñ banks, credit card, mobile phone, utility and mail order companies – to set up and finance a national ID theft support centre, similar to one that is working well in the US”, said Lord Whitty, chair of the NCC.
He added that victim support for those who find their identity stolen is currently poor.
“So far, the UK government and companies have focused on raising consumer awareness of ID theft, but no-one has paid much attention to supporting its victims. In fact we were shocked by the low priority companies give to ID theft victim support, and by the lack of recognition for ID theft victims in UK law.”
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