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Seven out of ten Lancastrians concerned about ID theft

10 July 2005

Lancastrians are slightly less concerned about having their identity stolen than the rest of the country and the most likely to reduce their ID theft risk by cancelling unused credit facilities according to the latest research from credit reference agency MyCallcredit.

Its research found that 72.6 per cent of Lancastrians were concerned about having their ID stolen compared to 74.1 per cent nationally and 71.6 per cent said that cancelling unused credit facilities would reduce the risk compared to just 58.9 per cent nationally.

However, only 15.1 per cent of those in Lancashire 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 76.5 per cent of Lancastrians 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 nationally. But in reality it can take many months for someone to discover they have been a victim of identity theft.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"The people of Lancaster are rightly concerned about having their identity stolen, ID theft has risen by 600 per cent over the last five years.

"But they do also appear to know when asked about it, what to do to prevent having their ID stolen. All they need to do now is follow it through and shred their financial documents, cancel unused credit facilities and check their credit file regularly."

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 43.1 per cent in Lancashire and 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.
  • 77.1 per cent of people in Lancashire 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 71.5 per cent of people in Lancashire.
  • 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 47.2 per cent in Lancashire.
  • 24.1 per cent of people nationally said they were not sure when they'd become aware their identity had been stolen compared to 16.8 per cent in Lancashire.
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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