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Seven out of ten Brits concerned for their identity

12 July 2005

Nearly 75 per cent of Britons are concerned their ID may be stolen but less than 19 per cent know exactly what they need to do to stop ID thieves according to the latest research from credit reference agency MyCallcredit.

Women are more concerned than men about ID theft with 79.3 per cent saying they were very or slightly concerned compared to only 68.8 per cent of men. But in contrast they are more savvy about what they need to do to protect themselves.

And remarkably more than 70 per cent of people in the UK think they would be aware if someone had stolen their identity within a couple of weeks. In reality it can take months or even years for someone to discover they've been a victim of identity theft.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"People are clearly concerned about having their identity stolen and the figures show they have reason to be - ID theft has increased by 600 per cent over the last five years.

"However, our research also shows that when asked about what they should do to protect themselves the majority of people correctly say they should shred financial documents, check their credit file regularly and cancel unused credit facilities.

"All we need to do now is encourage people to take those steps to significantly reduce the likelihood of them becoming victims of ID fraud."

Key Findings
  • People in Yorkshire and Scotland are most worried about having their ID stolen with 51.1 per cent and 53.1 per cent respectively saying they were very concerned about ID theft compared to the national average of 40.9 per cent
  • Those in the East of England 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.
  • 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.
  • More than 10 per cent more women than men identified that shredding financial documents would help to prevent ID theft.
  • 42.6 per cent of the population thought they would become aware in a matter of days if their identity had been stolen.
  • Only 24.1 per cent of people said they were not sure when they'd become aware their identity had been stolen.
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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