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Identity crisis

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Despite high-profile campaigns ID theft is still a massive problem, as Mike Collins discovers Britons remain worryingly unaware of how to protect themselves from ID thieves, despite high-profile campaigning by the Government and financial institutions, according to research undertaken by MyCallcredit.

Its research reveals that more than 35 million Britons are concerned about having their identity stolen, but less than 8 million are confident that they know how to combat ID theft – figures which have not changed significantly in the past six months.

MyCallcredit director Kevin Green says: “ID theft is one of the fastest growing types of fraud in the UK and there are many different ways people can become a victim. Its incidence in the population is still small at less than 0.1%, but it’s something people can easily protect themselves against by taking a few sensible precautions.

“These include shredding personal documents before disposing of them, cancelling unused credit facilities and never giving personal information to anyone no matter how legitimate they may seem. Staying vigilant also helps a lot.”

He continues: “Our research reinforces the need for ID theft awareness campaigns, like the one currently being run by the Home Office. Only when people understand what they can do to protect themselves can we start to claw back some of the £1.3bn a year ID fraud costs the UK economy.”

MyCallcredit’s statistical research reveals that just over 70% of the UK population are concerned about having their ID stolen, but the number of people who know exactly how to protect themselves dropped from 18.4% in July 2005 to 16.9% in October and 16.1% in January 2006.



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