Data breaches driven by identity theft have been costing the UK near £4bn every year for almost a decade as fraud in the country rises.
Over 28m data breaches have occurred every year since 2013 at a cost of £3.7bn per year, with more than 140m files compromised, data by ID verification checks provider Credas Technologies found.
Fraud in the nation surged by 22 per cent in just the past year, with 226,000 ID fraud cases reported.
“One of the most common motivations for data hacking is identity fraud and the latest data from the National Fraud Database (NFD) shows this fraudulent practice accounts for 63% of all cases of fraudulent conduct,” the company said.
Almost 10bn digital files have been stolen globally since 2013, with the UK the fifth most-affected nation after the US, India, China, and South Korea.
Missing documents like passports and bank statements are used by identity thieves.
“All of the most important financial elements of our lives are now handled online,” said Credas Technologies CEO Tim Barnett.
“While this brings great convenience, it also leaves you vulnerable to criminals and today, the lengths these criminals will go to are advancing at a faster rate than some businesses and organisations are improving their digital security.”
The UK lost £2.5bn in fraud and cyber-crime cases during 2021, with nearly half of Londoners saying the financial services sector was more vulnerable to fraud and scams than ever before.
Credit card fraud has also surged with the UK called the “credit card fraud capital of Europe” by think tank Social Market Foundation as Brits fall victim to scammers more than other European countries.