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Consumers urged to take action against fraud

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15/02/2008

Identity fraud is a growing concern among consumers, but 33% continue to throw away unshredded bills, according to Direct Line.

New research from the insurer has shown 55% of UK consumers are more worried now than ever before about identity fraud. In order to combat this, 16% of people now plan to change their passwords on current and other accounts, while 12% intend to buy a shredder to dispose of personal documents.

Direct Line also revealed, however, that address-related fraud was the most commonly committed identity fraud offence in the UK during the first half of 2007, but 33% of consumers continued to throw away bills and other personal documents without shredding them over the last twelve months.

Andrew Lowe, head of home insurance at Direct Line, said: “Being a victim of identity fraud can severely damage your credit rating, potentially causing problems with debt collectors, court actions and in getting a mortgage or a job, so taking precautions to protect yourself should not be underestimated.”

Direct Line has advised consumers to safeguard against identity fraud by refusing to disclose details over the phone where possible, unless you can take the caller’s details and phone back to confirm their identity. Those moving homes should also subscribe to a redirection service and inform their bank and utility providers about their change of address, according to the insurer.

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