More than 5.5 million adults in the UK fell victim to identity fraud in the last 12 months
Press Release

More than 5.5 million adults in the UK fell victim to identity fraud in the last 12 months

MARCH 08, 2022, LONDON: Nearly one in 10 smartphone users in the UK (9%), as many as 5.7 million people*, have fallen victim to identity fraud in the last 12 months, according to research by GBG, the experts in digital identity.

GBG’s State of Digital Identity Report 2022 can reveal that young adults aged 18-to-24 were hardest hit with almost a fifth (18%) becoming victims of identity fraud compared to 9% of 45-to-54-year-olds, and just 3% of consumers aged 55 and over.

The GBG research also uncovered high levels of anxiety, with a large majority of the Brits surveyed worrying that becoming a victim of fraud is inevitable. 93% of respondents (94% of 18 to 24-year-olds) felt concerned that they will fall victim to fraud in the future.  

According to the GBG report, among those British consumers personally impacted by identity fraud:

  • 44% had their bank account accessed and money taken
  • 28% had their credit card/bank account stolen and used
  • 23% had their name used to open new credit card/bank account
  • 19% had a new utility account opened in their name
  • 5% had their mobile phone number stolen and cloned
  • 4% had a new loan taken out in their name

Despite this, almost a third of businesses (31%) don’t use technology to verify the identity of consumers. As a result, firms are putting both themselves and consumers at risk of fraud, including the growing threat of increasingly sophisticated fraud attempts such as social engineering, SIM swap and synthetic fraud.

Gus Tomlinson, Chief Product Officer, EMEA at GBG, said: “By accurately identifying and authenticating an individual, businesses can stop fraudsters in their tracks and consumers are actively looking to businesses to protect them. There is a real opportunity for businesses to step up – to not just see fraud as just a threat but as an opportunity to build trust, better protect their customers and business, and grow their customer base.” 

Balancing fraud prevention and friction during ‘The Great Switch’

The report reveals that around two thirds (66%) of European consumers signed up to at least one new online account in the past 12 months, with 67% doing the same in the UK.

The research reveals that  when signing up for a new account, consumers think it's important that the process is easy (99%), secure (98%) and quick (97%).

Gus adds: “It appears that many consumers are now more than willing to ditch a brand if they have a poor onboarding experience. Most people in the UK, and indeed across Europe, have signed up for goods and services online over the past few years but the fact that so many consumers have opened completely new accounts in the past 12 months may indicate that we’re witnessing ‘The Great Switch.’ With people spending increasingly more time online, they’ve begun to re-evaluate if they’re getting the best service possible - or whether it’s time to try a new provider. 

“The modern consumer demands a smooth onboarding experience and expects to be able to transact online securely. It’s all about finding that balance between fraud prevention and friction online.

“By understanding more about digital identities, layering the right data and having the best technology in place, companies can keep consumers safe in a digital world and keep up with evolving consumer expectations.”

For more findings and to download the full report, visit




Notes to editor

*1 - “9% of respondents surveyed said they were personally the victim of identity fraud in the past 12 months. Assuming 63.46 million smartphone users in the UK in 2022*, as many as 5.7 million could have been hit by fraud in 12 months

For more information or to speak to Gus Tomlinson and other fraud and digital identity experts at GBG about the findings of the GBG’s State of Digital Identity Report 2022 report, please contact Ellen Carroll ( or Danny Mitchell (


About the research

The independent research, consisting of two separate projects, was conducted by Censuswide, with 2,362 smartphone owners aged 18+ sampled in the UK, France, Germany and Spain between 17-26 January 2022. 160 decision makers in insurance, financial services, ecommerce/retail, fintech, gaming/gambling and the pension sector across UK, France, Germany and Spain were also surveyed between 17-26 January 2022. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles. 


About GBG

We are the experts in digital location, identity and managing fraud risk and compliance. Helping organisations across the globe eliminate customer friction and fraud from their digital experiences. GBG develops and delivers digital identity, address verification, fraud prevention and compliance software to businesses globally.

Through the combination of the latest technology, the most accurate data and our unrivalled expertise, GBG helps organisations ranging from start-ups to the largest consumer and technology brands in the world deliver seamless experiences, so their customers can transact online with greater confidence.

To find out more about how we help our customers establish trust with their customers visit and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @gbgplc.