Three-quarters of Scots underestimate risk of ID theft
Three-quarters of Scots underestimate the likelihood of becoming a victim of ID theft despite the majority claiming they are more aware of ID theft, and the impact it can have on their finances, than they were a year ago.
Research carried out for online credit report service MyCallcredit also revealed Scots are the most likely to take measures to protect themselves from the consequences of ID theft, like shredding personal documents, checking their credit file and cancelling unused credit facilities.
MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:
"Scots are more aware of ID theft than they were a year ago and they're more likely than anywhere else in the UK to protect themselves from ID thieves.
But they drastically underestimate their chances of becoming a victim of ID thieves. Only one in four correctly identified the average risk of one in 1000 when asked and although the risk in Scotland is still significantly less than for someone living in London it is a growing crime.
Between October last year and February this year Aberdeen saw a 25 per cent increase in the number of victims and Dundee saw a 19 per cent jump.
Even simple things like being granted a mobile phone contract can be made impossible if a fraudster has had an impact on your credit file. Your life really does get put on hold until the damage has been investigated and put right and that can take many months."
- Fewer Scots (26.1 per cent against an average of 36.7 per cent) than anywhere else in the UK identified the average risk of ID theft is one in 1000.
- More Scots (88.3 per cent against an average of 85.9 per cent) than anywhere else in the UK say they take measures to protect themselves against ID thieves.
- Of the 12 Scots in every 100 who don't take measures to protect themselves 4 say it's because they know they should but can't be bothered and 3 think it won't happen to them.
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 guidelines people can protect themselves from all types of impersonation fraud and minimise the time and hassle involved in restoring their credit file to its correct state.
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 and sign up to a service which alerts you to any changes on your credit file - often the first indication you will have that a fraudster has got hold of your ID.
- The research was carried out for MyCallcredit by NEMS market research among 1040 adults between 31 March and 5 April 2006.