The statistics show almost 173,000 recorded frauds in 2016 out of which 88% occurred online, according to Reuters. Almost 25,000 victims of fraud were aged under 30, with the number of under-21s defrauded rising by a third.
The vast majority of identity fraud takes place when a fraudster pretends to be an individual, to buy a product or take out a loan in their name. Scammers get hold of the necessary personal material by stealing mail, computer hacking, obtaining data on the dark web, and exploiting personal information on social media.
Another way to gather personal info is social engineering, where people give up personal information to someone pretending to be from their bank, the police or a retailer.
Cifas advises people to shred important paper documents - and use passwords, privacy settings and anti-virus software on their computers.
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