The disturbing prevalence of identity fraud is revealed in figures published today that show one in four people have either fallen victim or know of someone who has been defrauded. Experts estimate that an identity theft happens every four minutes in this country, costing approximately £1.3bn a year.

The data published by the consumer magazine Which? reveals that 10 per cent of people have been first-hand victims and a further 15 per cent know someone who has had their identity stolen.

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