The number of recorded fraud cases in the UK rose five per cent last year, to nearly 250,000, according to Cifas, with identity theft accounting for more than half of all incidences.
The fraud prevention service says its members identified 248,325 cases in 2012, 150,000 of which had an identifiable victim.
In total, 123,589 of the cases involved the fraudulent use of identity details (either those of an innocent victim or completely fictitious ones), a nine per cent increase on 2011.
Furthermore, facility takeover fraud - where a crook gains access to and hijacks the running of an account - rocketed by 53%. This means that those frauds where the criminal requires identity details accounted for 65% of all cases in 2012.
In contrast, fraud carried out by actual account holders fell 15% to just under 46,000. A large chunk of these cases appear to be people acting as money mules for criminals.
Peter Hurst, chief executive, Cifas, says "it is time for all organisations and consumers to start reviewing their approaches to preventing fraud rather than just dealing with its effects. Investment in proper fraud prevention systems and approaches, from online security to data sharing, and education are the cornerstones of such an approach and - without them - the only thing that is guaranteed is an ever increasing fraud losses to organisations and society at large."