East Anglians confidence on ID theft misplaced
The number of people in East Anglia who are concerned about ID theft has fallen gradually since July last year while the number of people who are confident they can combat ID thieves has risen gradually according to the latest research from online credit monitoring service MyCallcredit.
Its quarterly ID theft survey reveals the government's high profile campaign to alert people to the fastest growing fraud in the UK, and protective measures they can take, is getting through to some East Anglians but there is still a long way to go. Even now only two out of ten East Anglians are confident they know exactly what to do to protect themselves from ID thieves.
And worryingly more than seven out of ten people still believe they would know in a matter of weeks if they were a victim of ID theft when in reality it can take many months for the crime to be discovered.
MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:
"Cambridge is the ID theft hot spot of East Anglia but its incidence is still below the average in the UK. However, this isn't an excuse for people to think it won't happen to them - it is the fastest growing fraud in the country.
By taking a few simple steps, shredding personal documents before throwing them away, cancelling unused credit facilities and checking their credit file regularly everyone in East Anglia can protect themselves from fraudsters, only then can we begin to claw back the £1.3bn ID theft costs the UK economy each year."
- The risk of ID theft across East Anglia is lower than the national average but Cambridge is the ID theft hotspot of the region where residents are twice as likely to have their ID stolen than those that live in Ipswich or Norwich.
- 66.9 per cent of East Anglians say they are concerned about ID theft now, in July last year 69.3 per cent claimed they were concerned and in October last year 68.2 per cent expressed concern.
- Across the UK as a whole 73.4 per cent of people say they are concerned about ID theft.
- The number of East Anglians who say they know exactly how to protect themselves from ID thieves rose from 17.8 per cent in July last year to 18.4 per cent in October and 22.2 per cent now.
- 16.1 per cent of people across the UK say they know exactly how to protect themselves from ID thieves.
- When prompted 86.9 per cent of East Anglians correctly said that shredding personal documents before throwing them away would help in the fight against ID thieves compared to 83.8 per cent nationally.
- 77.6 per cent of people in East Anglia said they would know in a matter of weeks if they'd become a victim of ID thieves, in reality it can take many months before the crime comes to light.
- 18.6 per cent of East Anglians admitted they didn't know when they'd become aware they'd been a victim of ID theft.
What is ID theft
- ID theft is an all encompassing term for different types of fraud committed in another person's name.
- The most common type of fraud involves someone stealing your card details and using them to make purchases or withdraw cash.
- But it can also be when someone takes over your identity completely and applies for loans, mortgages, passports or a driving license in your name.
- By following our simple guidelines people can protect themselves from all types of impersonation fraud and minimise the hassle and losses incurred if they are unlucky enough to fall prey to fraudsters.
How to protect yourself from ID thieves
- Shred personal documents before disposing of them.
- Cancel unused credit facilities.
- Don't give personal information to anyone, however legitimate they may seem, without first confirming who they are and why they want the information.
- Check your credit file regularly to see what information is held about you.
- Be vigilant and check your financial statements.
- Research by MyCallcredit, which compared the number of recorded incidences of ID theft by postcode as a percentage of the population based on Census figures, provided the city and town analysis.
- The attitudes to ID theft research was carried out for MyCallcredit by NEMS market research among 1050 adults between 3 and 8 January 2006.