Eight out of ten Scots concerned about ID theft

06 July 2005

Scots are more concerned than anyone else in the UK about having their identity stolen but less likely than average to know exactly how to prevent it according to the latest research from credit reference agency MyCallcredit.

Its research found that 82.6 per cent of Scots were concerned about having their ID stolen compared to 74.1 per cent nationally.

However, only 16.4 per cent of those in Scotland said they knew exactly what to do to prevent them becoming a victim of ID fraud compared to 18.4 per cent nationally.

And remarkably 72.9 per cent of Scots 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 identity theft.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"People in Scotland are rightly concerned about having their identity stolen, ID theft has risen by 600 per cent over the last five years.

"But it's quite simple to protect yourself from ID thieves if you shred financial documents, cancel unused credit facilities and check your credit file regularly. Maybe it's time for Scots to take action to protect themselves."

Key Findings
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 78.7 per cent of Scots 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 theft compared to 66 per cent of Scots.
  • 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 43.9 per cent in Scotland.
  • Only 20.4 per cent of people in Scotland 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.
Editors Notes
  1. The research was carried out by NEMS market research for Callcredit between 5 and 13 July 2005 among a representative sample of 1000 people.
  2. A report by personal protection advisers, the CPP Group found that it took 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).

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