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Six out of ten Scots concerned about ID theft

12 October 2005

Only six out of ten Scots are concerned their ID may be stolen compared to a national average of seven out of ten according to MyCallcredit's quarterly ID theft survey, which revealed a U-turn in Scots thinking.

In July Scots were more concerned than anyone else in the UK about having their ID stolen, now they are the least concerned.

They're also less likely to know what to do to protect themselves with only 12.3 per cent confident they can combat ID thieves now compared to 16.4 per cent in July.

However, they were also more realistic about when they would become aware their ID had been stolen with 63.6 per cent saying they would know in a matter of weeks compared to 72.9 per cent three months ago - and a national average of 71.8 per cent. In reality it can take many months for someone to become aware they have been a victim of ID theft.

MyCallcredit director Alison Nicholson says:

"Three months ago Scots were rightly concerned about having their ID stolen but unaware how to protect themselves.

"Now they're less concerned about it and less likely to know how to protect themselves but the crime is not going away. Indeed our research shows that in Glasgow the incidence of ID theft is higher than the average across the country.

"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. Scots need to take action to protect themselves."

Key Findings
  • People living in Yorkshire and Lancashire are most worried about having their ID stolen with 44 per cent and 43 per cent respectively saying they were very concerned about ID theft compared to 34.9 per cent nationally and 24.5 per cent in Scotland.
  • In July Scots were most worried about having their ID stolen with 53.1 per cent saying they were very concerned compared to just 24.5 per cent now.
  • Women remained more concerned about having their identity stolen than men, 76.6 per cent against 66.4 per cent.
  • More than 10 per cent more women than men identified that shredding financial documents would help to prevent ID theft.
  • 76 per cent of Scots identified that shredding financial documents would help to minimise the risk of ID theft compared to a national average of 82.3 per cent.
  • 66.9 per cent of people nationally said checking your credit file regularly would minimise the risk of ID theft compared to 60.5 per cent of Scots - a drop of 5.5 per cent since July.
  • Those aged 55 to 64 were most worried their ID would be stolen with 46.9 per cent saying they were very concerned. Three months ago the group that felt most at risk was aged between 45 and 54.
  • Youngsters remained the least concerned about their ID with only 16.2 per cent claiming they were worried compared to 34.9 per cent across all age groups.
  • 48 per cent of the population thought they would become aware in a matter of days if their identity had been stolen compared to 38 per cent in Scotland.
  • 30.5 per cent of people in Scotland said they were not sure when they'd become aware their identity had been stolen compared to 24.5 per cent nationally.
How to protect yourself from 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 4 and 8 October 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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