North Westerners most concerned about their ID

People living in the North West of England are becoming increasingly concerned about having their ID stolen and less confident of exactly how to protect themselves according to the latest research from online credit monitoring service MyCallcredit.

Its quarterly ID theft survey shows that despite a high profile government campaign alerting people to this type of fraud and how to protect themselves the message isn't getting through to residents of the North West where only one in ten knows exactly how to combat ID thieves.

The warning is particularly pertinent for people who live in Stockport and Manchester where the incidence of ID theft in the population is higher than the UK average. In Bolton, Oldham, Blackburn, Liverpool and Blackpool the incidence of ID theft is below the national average.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

Manchester and Stockport are the North West's ID theft hotspots but people can take some really simple steps to combat these fraudsters and do their bit to help us claw back the £1.3bn ID theft costs the UK economy each year.

ID theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in this country but by shredding personal documents before throwing them away, cancelling unused credit facilities and checking their credit file regularly people will be minimising their chances of becoming a victim."

Key Points
  • 86.4 per cent of North West residents say they are concerned about ID theft now, in July last year 72.6 per cent claimed they were concerned and in October last year 74.4 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 North Westerners who say they know exactly how to protect themselves from ID thieves dropped from 15.1per cent in July last year to 11.5 per cent in October and 12.3 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 83.7 per cent of North Westerners 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.
  • 72.1 per cent of people living in the North West 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.
  • 24.2 per cent of North Westerners 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.
Editors notes
  1. 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.
  2. The attitudes to ID theft research was carried out for MyCallcredit by NEMS market research among 1050 adults between 3 and 8 January 2006.