UK surfers should be aware that ID theft online seems set to climb, as organised criminal gangs ramp up their efforts to rip off broadband Britain.

A new company, Garlik, has been launched by the founders of Egg.

Their research warns that a new wave of ID theft is hitting the UK, with our identities worth on average £85,000 each to criminal gangs.

"ID thieves are currently fleecing more than 100,000 Britons each year.  Yet the problem is set to escalate with the industry predicted to grow to £4 billion by 20101, affecting 200,000 people annually," the report warns.

"Our study shows organised criminals are responsible for 75 per cent of credit card fraud and are rapidly moving into identity theft. These 'identity brokers' harvest data from online sources and use the information to manufacture and steal identities for criminal misuse," said Tom Ilube, CEO, Garlik. 

The Garlik study, 'Protecting Personal Information in an Impersonal World' claims stolen identities are used for a growing range of crimes: sham marriages, false driving licences, fake passports, false credit, including fraudulent mortgages or loan applications, and more.

They warn that we need to protect our identities more tightly when online, particularly bank and address details.

Having identified the problem, the researchers offer a solution, DataPatrol, a monthly monitoring service that finds, tracks and monitors personal information online.