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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Millions of national insurance numbers have been "lost", the Government has admitted

Fraud fear as millions of NI numbers are lost - Sunday Telegraph


"Millions of national insurance numbers have been "lost", the Government has admitted, raising fears that they are being misused by fraudsters and illegal immigrants.

The nine million numbers were issued by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and are registered on its database, but officials do not know if they are held legitimately.

National Insurance (NI) numbers can be used to claim benefits and tax credits, and are sometimes accepted by employers to prove the right to work legally in the UK.

An internal investigation has been launched to try to categorise the numbers, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt. It will report to ministers later this year. It is not known if the findings will be made public.

The Government admitted in a recent parliamentary answer that there are now 76.7 million numbers on the database, well in excess of Britain's adult population of 49 million."