Welsh getting ID theft message

Seven out of ten people in Wales are concerned their ID may be stolen and less than two in ten know exactly how to protect themselves - although that's better than the UK average according to the latest research from online credit monitoring service MyCallcredit.

Its quarterly ID theft research shows a high profile government campaign alerting people to the dangers of ID theft, and protective measures people can take, is getting through to the residents of Wales although there is still a long way to go.

Worryingly six in ten people in Wales still believe they would know in a matter of weeks if they'd been a victim of ID theft. In reality it can take many months for the crime to be discovered.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"Cardiff has the highest incidence of ID theft in Wales, but it is still well below the average across the UK and Swansea is in the bottom ten places where you're likely to have your ID stolen. But it is the fastest growing fraud in Britain and people need to take action to beat these criminals.

By taking a few simple steps, shredding personal documents before throwing them away, cancelling unused credit facilities and checking your credit file regularly, everyone in Wales can protect themselves from fraudsters, only then can we begin to claw back the £1.3bn ID theft costs the UK economy each year."

Key Points
  • Although Cardiff is the ID theft hotspot of Wales the incidence of ID theft across Wales is well below the average in the UK.
  • Welsh people have mirrored the national level of concern about ID theft since July last year. 74 per cent say they are concerned about ID theft now, in July last year 73.4 per cent claimed they were concerned and in October 72.7 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 Welsh people who say they know exactly how to protect themselves from ID thieves has grown steadily from 15.1 per cent in July last year to 17.6 per cent in October and 18.5 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 88.5 per cent of Welsh people 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.
  • 63.4 per cent of Welsh people 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.
  • 23 per cent of people in Wales 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.