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Seven out of ten Londoners concerned about ID theft

09 July 2005

More than seven out of ten Londoners are concerned about having their ID stolen but less likely than those in the rest of the country to know what to do to protect themselves from ID thieves according to the latest research from credit reference agency MyCallcredit.

Its research found that 72.5 per cent of Londoners were concerned about having their ID stolen compared to 74.1 per cent nationally.

However, only 17.8 per cent of those in London said they knew exactly what to do to prevent them becoming a victim of ID fraud compared to 18.4 per cent nationally.

And 67.9 per cent of Londoners 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 London are less worried about having their ID stolen than average and they're also less likely to know what to do to protect themselves but ID theft has risen by 600 per cent over the last five years so it's time Londoners took some precautions.

"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. When asked about these precautions Londoners consistently scored below average."

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 and 34.2 per cent in London.
  • 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.
  • 75.4 per cent of Londoners 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 66.9 per cent in London.
  • Only 54 per cent of Londoners thought cancelling unused credit and charge cards would reduce the risk of ID theft compared to 58.9 per cent nationally.
  • 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 40.3 per cent in London.
  • 28.2 per cent of people in London 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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