Southerners less concerned about ID theft
Southerners are less concerned than average about having their ID stolen and nearly a quarter, the highest score nationally, say they know exactly what to do to prevent themselves being a victim of ID thieves according to the latest research from credit reference agency MyCallcredit.
Its research found that 68 per cent of Southerners were concerned about having their ID stolen compared to 74.1 per cent nationally.
But 24.8 per cent of Southerners said they knew exactly what to do to prevent them becoming a victim of ID fraud compared to 18.4 per cent nationally.
And 71.1 per cent of Southerners were confident they would know if they'd been a victim of ID fraud within the first few weeks compared to 70.3 per cent nationwide. But in reality it can take many months for someone to become aware they have been a victim of ID theft.
MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:
"Southerners are less worried about having their ID stolen than average and confident they know what to do to protect themselves.
"But when asked about three different ways to minimise the risk they only scored higher than average when questioned about checking their credit file regularly.
"You can protect yourself from ID thieves by shredding financial documents, cancelling unused credit facilities and checking your credit file regularly."
- People in Scotland and Yorkshire are most worried about having their ID stolen with 53.1 per cent and 51.1 per cent respectively saying they were very concerned about ID theft compared to a national average of 40.9 per cent and 39.4 per cent in the South.
- East Anglians are least concerned about having their identity stolen with only 29.4 per cent saying they were very concerned.
- Women are more concerned about having their identity stolen than men, 79.3 per cent against 68.8 per cent.
- More than 10 per cent more women than men identified that shredding financial documents would help to prevent ID theft.
- 75.6 per cent of Southerners identified that shredding financial documents would help to minimise the risk of ID theft compared to a national average of 78.1 per cent.
- 68.4 per cent of people nationally said checking your credit file regularly would minimise the risk of ID fraud compared to 75 per cent in the South.
- 58.1 per cent of Southerners thought cancelling unused credit and charge cards would reduce the risk of ID theft compared to 58.9 per cent nationally.
- Those aged 45 to 54 were the most concerned about having their identity stolen with 52.4 per cent saying they were very concerned.
- Younger people, aged between 16 and 24 were the least concerned about having their ID stolen with only 18.3 per cent saying they were very concerned.
- 42.6 per cent of the population thought they would become aware in a matter of days if their identity had been stolen compared to 44.1 per cent in the South.
- 25.4 per cent of people in the South said they were not sure when they'd become aware their identity had been stolen compared to 24.1 per cent nationally.
How to protect yourself form 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.
- The research was carried out by NEMS market research for Callcredit between 5 and 13 July 2005 among a representative sample of 1000 people.
- A report by personal protection advisers, the CPP Group found that it took 480 days or 16 months to discover identity theft.
- It can take a typical ID fraud victim 60 hours to prove their innocence (Source CIFAS).