Grand Theft Wino

Grand Theft Wino

Data loss and ID fraud is an all too familiar concept. Yet the news that Amy Winehouse left bin bags full of bank statements, cleaning bills and medical records whilst clearing out her North London home is a stark reminder that we all need to take more care.

People think that falling victim of a fraudster will not happen to them and more worryingly are continuing to put themselves at risk by being careless with their personal details.

According to a national ranking published by the credit report provider, Callcredit, Londoners are most at risk of ID fraud in the UK. The analysis (1) found that almost 50% of the top 20 postal areas most at risk of ID fraud fell within Greater London and the surrounding areas, suggesting that those living in the capital need to be on high alert for identity theft.

Owen Roberts, Identity Protection Expert at Callcredit said:

"It's incredibly difficult to be 100% safe from identity theft, so doing all you can to protect yourself is essential. Although there's plenty of information available on how to stay protected from ID fraud, many people are still getting caught out.

"Whether you're Amy Winehouse or an average British consumer, it is of utmost importance not to leave personal information lying around for criminals to use.

"We need to make life harder for them by taking simple steps such as shredding documents, protecting your PC and regularly checking your credit report. If we take a few simple precautions we are less likely to experience the distress that a serious case of identity theft can cause."


Top tips on how to avoid being a Wino:

• Don't throw your identity in the bin - keep track of your important documents and shred those you no longer need
• Always check your statements and watch out for small unrecognised transactions as these can be a precursor to serious spending by a fraudster
• Don't broadcast your identity on the internet by failing to protect your PC
• Don't be careless with personal data and leave documents lying around
• Make certain you are watching for warning signs by regularly checking your credit report through services such as www.callcreditcheck.com

1 - using GeoFraud technology from Callcredit

About Callcredit:
• Callcredit (www.callcredit.co.uk) is the UK's most innovative, state-of-the art credit reference agency, with an extensive range of information and value added services for businesses and individuals.
• Callcredit Check provides consumers with online access to the details of their credit file at www.callcreditcheck.com
• Callcredit has harnessed state-of-the-art information technology with an unrivalled knowledge of the industry's needs to develop a range of innovative information solutions. Solutions that are enabling major lenders and a host of other blue chip companies to address regulatory requirements, make better credit decisions, target new customers more effectively and manage existing customers more profitably.
• Callcredit is one of six core businesses that form the Callcredit Information Group. The other five are:
• Database management company EuroDirect
Market analysis firm GMAP Consulting
• Online payment service provider, Legatio
• Scorecard development and affordability assessment specialist DecisionMetrics
• Marketing services and database specialist, Broadsystem
• Following the publication of Sir James Crosby's report, Callcredit has joined forces with the other two UK credit reference agencies to offer expert advice for victims of ID fraud. This joined up approach will mean that victims can contact Callcredit who will then alert the other two agencies to the fraud on their behalf. Our ID fraud team will also work with victims to contact all lenders and ensure that fraudulent information is removed and the consumers' credit history is fully restored.