Identity theft 'set to soar' during recession

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The Independent Online

The number of Britons whose credit rating is damaged due to identity theft looks set to nearly double during the coming five years. Around 500,000 people have already been blacklisted as a result of fraudsters taking over their identity and using it to get credit or benefits, and a further 440,000 people are expected to fall victim to the crime during the coming five years, according to insurer LV. The group said the number of victims is expected to continue to rise due to the economic downturn. Just under half of 6,000 people questioned for the group said they had experienced some kind of credit-related problem, such as incorrectly receiving unpaid bills. 40 per cent said they had been refused banking services, such as a credit card, and 6 per cent had been turned down for a mortgage. The research, conducted by the centre for economics and business research, found the crime costs the average victim £2,100 to rectify the problem.