Identity fraud costs £2.7 billion a year

Well a report out today shows that nearly two million of us each year have our identities stolen costing the UK a staggering 2.7 billion pounds a year.

Identity fraud involves criminals using another individual's personal details to obtain goods and services, or take out credit or benefits in their name.

Stolen identities can also be used to commit other crimes, ranging from evading police to people trafficking and terrorism.

The figures, compiled for the first UK ID Crime Statistic Threat Assessment in conjunction with the National Fraud Intelligence B
The group is also advising people to regularly check their bank statements and credit reference, and to make sure their computer has up-to-date anti-virus software.

It is also urging people to make sure they use all of the privacy settings available on social networking sites, and not to disclose too much personal information.

People should also get Royal Mail to redirect their post if they move house.

For more advice or to report fraud people can visit or call 0300 1232040.

Charles Conway runs the website Scam Detectives.. Hear him chatting to Heart about being safe online.