Seven out of ten Northerners concerned about ID theft

07 July 2005

Seven out of ten Northerners are concerned about having their identity stolen and four out of ten say they're not sure or don't have clue how to protect themselves from ID thieves according to the latest research from credit reference agency MyCallcredit.

Its research found that 73.5 per cent of Northerners were concerned about having their ID stolen compared to 74.1 per cent nationally.

But only 14.8 per cent of Northerners said they knew exactly what to do to prevent them becoming a victim of ID fraud compared to 18.4 per cent nationally.

And 39.9 per cent of Northerners said they weren't sure or didn't have a clue what to do to protect their ID compared to the national average of 33.3 per cent.

Despite this 74.8 per cent of those in the North 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. In reality it can take many months for someone to discover they have been a victim of identity theft.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"Northerners seem to be worse off than average when it comes to knowing how to protect themselves from identity thieves but with ID theft having grown by 600 per cent over the last five years it's something they should be aware of.

"People should shred their financial documents, cancel unused credit facilities and check their credit file regularly if they want to make life more difficult for the growing army of ID thieves."

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 46.5 per cent in the North 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.
  • 78.2 per cent of people in the North identified 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 69.3 per cent of Northerners.
  • 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 43.7 per cent in the North.
  • 24.1 per cent of people nationally said they were not sure when they'd become aware their identity had been stolen compared to 20.7 per cent of Northerners.
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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