Europe a fraud hotspot for British tourists

20 percent of Britons have been a victim of financial crime while on holiday.

Independent research commissioned by credit reference agency Callcredit has revealed that a fifth of the UK population has fallen victim of identity fraud while on holiday. 9pc of those were defrauded while travelling in Europe and 8pc had their identity stolen while 'staycationing' in the UK.

These statistics show that the comparatively high level of fraud both at home and abroad is increasing the cost of holidaying during the recession. Owen Roberts, ID fraud prevention expert at www.callcreditcheck.com , comments:

"Being on holiday can mean people are less cautious than they may normally be. Our advice is to stay vigilant whether in the UK or further afield and keep your cards and ID documents safe and secure. Having your identity stolen can really ruin your holiday, causing the unnecessary cost and hassle of replacement cards and documentation. Whether you're planning on holidaying at home or abroad this summer, checking your credit report regularly will let you know immediately if anyone has stolen your details, so you can sort the problem out as soon as possible."

Callcredit's tips for avoiding identity fraud on holiday:
1. If going abroad, use travellers' cheques or prepay cards to stock up on local currency before you go - this way you can keep the use of credit and debit cards to a minimum
2. In the UK and further afield, make sure you always keep any cards where you can see them at all times - cards can be cloned very quickly so never allow shop and bar staff to take them out of your sight
3. Keep important items, such as passport, driving licence, travellers cheques and credit cards in separate places to minimise the risk of having all stolen at once
4. Check bank statements for discrepancies when you return - small unrecognised amounts can often be the precursors to larger fraudulent purchases which may send you overdrawn
5. Regularly check your credit report at sites such as www.callcreditcheck.com - this will give you an overview of all of your accounts at the same time so you can spot any you didn't authorise immediately


Research information

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2218 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21st - 23rd July 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Results breakdown:

In which, if any, of the following locations have you ever been a victim of financial crime while on holiday? [Please tick all that apply]
Unweighted Base 2218
All GB adults 2218
UK 8%
Europe (excluding the UK) 9%
Americas (US Canada Latin America) 2%
Asia Pacific 1%
Middle East 1%
Africa 1%
Other 1%
Don't know 0%
Not applicable - I have not been a victim of financial crime while on holiday 80%

About Callcredit Check

• Callcredit Check is the consumer arm of credit reference agency Callcredit, providing consumers with instant online access to their credit report and services to help them monitor their credit status.

• Callcredit is the UK's most innovative and customer-focused Credit Reference Agency, with an established reputation for service differentiation; focusing on listening to clients and creating innovative solutions that deliver real business value. Find out more at www.callcredit.co.uk

• Callcredit is one of six core businesses that form the Callcredit Information Group (CIG). CIG brings together experts across the fields of credit referencing, marketing services, interactive solutions and consultative analytics to enable our client base of businesses and consumers to make informed decisions using our innovative products and services.

The group is made up of two complementary divisions:
? Credit Solutions, encompassing Callcredit, Legatio and DecisionMetrics - specialists in credit risk, ID verification services and tracing tools.
? Marketing Solutions, providing specialist knowledge in customer analytics, consumer targeting, database building and hosting, marketing communications, business modelling and market analysis through three market leaders in their own fields: EuroDirect, Broadsystem and GMAP Consulting.