39,067 cases of false identity were recorded. In total there were 376,351 records of all frauds at the end of June 2005 and this represents an increase of more than 6 percent on last year's figure. The figures were compiled by the U.K.'s fraud prevention service Cifas.
But experts said the figures were only a small visible part of a much larger problem.
"Fraud figures are always going to be underestimates because fraud is not reported well and new areas such as identity fraud even less so," said David Porter, Head of Security and Risk, Detica.
"Organizations need to sharpen up the way they capture fraud case data and undertake root cause analysis so they can create a more accurate picture of the situation. In this way, we will have better intelligence on what we are dealing with to be able to tackle the problem more effectively." he added.
He warned companies to make sure they were alive to the internal threat and not just external threats.
"We also need to look at human and psychological factors to understand why people on the inside turn to this kind of criminal behavior. Growing numbers of employees will be inclined to take a risk if they think they won't get caught because their employer lacks robust security measures preventing unauthorized access to customer data," added Porter.
Earlier this month we reported on the unearthing of a massive identity theft ring.