There has been a surge in frauds committed to get hold of the latest smartphones and high value mobile phone contracts, with a 93% rise since last year in fraudsters using someone else's identity to sign on with providers.
One explanation for the increase is the tough economic climate, according to the fraud prevention service, CIFAS, which works on behalf of banks, retail credit firms and telephone companies.
The 93% year-on-year jump was in cases of "impersonation of the victim", when the perpetrator sets up the account using someone else's name and current address, with 10,572 cases in the first nine months of 2011.
Fraudsters have been known to ask Royal Mail to redirect the resulting correspondence to their own homes, or to rifle through letters arriving at buildings with several flats.
There was an 85% increase in the use of completely fictitious details to get hold of phones or sign up for accounts, with 4,789 confirmed cases up to the end of September.
Often fraudulent Direct Debit details are supplied, in order to avoid paying any bills.
CIFAS says that sophisticated phones have "become so embedded in our lives that many of us seem unable to do without them".