A quarter of UK adults have had their identity stolen or know someone who has fallen victim to ID fraud, a Which? magazine survey concludes.

Nevertheless, only one in three people said they shredded bills or used different passwords for every account.

ID thieves access accounts, run up bills, launder money, carry out benefit fraud and take out fraudulent loans.

ID fraud is one of the UK’s fastest-growing crimes, with criminals netting an estimated £1.3bn last year.

The survey of 975 people found seven out of 10 favoured compulsory ID cards as a way to fight fraud.

Fraudsters use a host of methods to steal people’s identities.

Methods range from the high-tech, such as sending emails containing viruses that access information on people’s computers to rooting around in refuse to find old till receipts and bank statements.

Which? advises consumers to take care in how they dispose of their personal documents, guard their passwords and to check their bank accounts and credit files regularly.

More here.