Seven out of ten Britons worried about ID theft

At the start of National ID Fraud Prevention week MyCallcredit's quarterly ID theft survey reveals Britons are less concerned about ID theft than they were three months ago and less confident how to combat it.

Its survey found 71.5 per cent of people are concerned about being a victim of ID theft compared to 74.1 per cent in July and only 16.9 per cent said they knew exactly what to do to protect themselves against 18.4 per cent three months ago.

Women remained more concerned about ID theft than men 76.6 per cent compared to 66.4 per cent of men.

However, men suffered a loss in confidence when asked how to stop ID thieves with 22 per cent of men saying they know exactly how to protect themselves in July compared to 17.9 per cent now.

Women, on the other hand, were marginally more confident they can protect themselves with 15.9 per cent saying they know exactly what to do compared to 14.8 per cent three months ago.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"ID theft is a problem and people are concerned about but they're unaware how to protect themselves.

"By shredding financial documents, cancelling unused credit facilities and checking their credit files people can significantly reduce the likelihood they will fall victim to an ID thief - we just need to make sure people know that so they can take responsibility for the ID and keep it safe."

More than seven out of ten people remained confident they would know within a matter of weeks if their ID had been stolen. In reality it can take many months for someone to discover they've been a victim of ID theft.

Key Findings
  • People living in Yorkshire and Lancashire are most worried about having their ID stolen with 44 per cent and 43 per cent respectively saying they were very concerned about ID theft compared to 34.9 per cent nationally.
  • Scots have done a U-turn on ID theft with only only 24.5 per cent (the lowest number in the country) saying they were very concerned compared to 53.1 per cent (the highest in the country) three months ago.
  • 48 per cent of the population thought they would become aware in a matter of days if their ID had been stolen.
  • Only 24.5 per cent of people said they were not sure when they would become aware their ID had been stolen.
  • Those aged 55 to 64 were most worried their ID would be stolen with 46.9 per cent saying they were very concerned. Three months ago the group that felt most at risk was aged between 45 and 54.
  • Youngsters remained the least concerned about their ID with only 16.2 per cent claiming they were worried compared to 34.9 per cent across all age groups.
How to protect yourself from ID fraud
  • Shred any personal documents before disposing of them.
  • Be vigilant, log on to www.mycallcredit.com and check your credit file.
  • Write to lenders who are listing a credit facility you don't want and cancel it.
  • When you cut up a card or stop using it inform the lender.
Editors Notes
  1. The research was carried out by NEMS market research for MyCallcredit between 4 and 8 October 2005 among a representative sample of 1000 people.
  2. A report by personal protection advisers, the CPP Group found that it took, on average, 480 days or 16 months to discover identity theft.
  3. It can take a typical ID fraud victim 60 hours to prove their innocence (Source CIFAS).