79% of Britons Give Away Identities

Unprecedented support received for the UK's third National Identity Fraud Prevention Week

LONDON -- The UK's third National Identity Fraud Prevention Week - a major awareness drive, warning of the dangers of identity fraud - begins today.

As new research reveals that 79% of us are still being careless with our personal details, an unprecedented group of public and private sector partners have come together to support the UK's largest identity fraud awareness drive. The campaign aims to educate consumers and businesses as to the dangers of identity fraud, and the preventative steps that could - and should - be taken.

This year's campaign is supported by the Metropolitan Police, the Identity and Passport Service, Royal Mail, CIFAS - The UK's Fraud Prevention Service, Fellowes, Callcredit, Equifax, Experian, HM Revenue and Customs, the Federation of Small Businesses, The Home Office, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the DVLA, The City of London Police, the BBA, the FSA, the British Security Industry Association (BSIA), regional police forces and politicians from across the political divide.

Despite continuing efforts to combat identity fraud - still one of the UK's fastest growing crimes - a Populus poll commissioned for this campaign** shows that three quarters of UK adults have now been personally affected, or have friends and family who have been affected, by identity fraud. Furthermore, 80% of Britons fear having their identity stolen. National bin-raiding research*, commissioned by Fellowes, reveals why: not enough is being done to keep identity thieves at bay.

  • Over 19 million households regularly place sensitive materials in their waste and recycling bins
  • 11% throw away whole credit/debit card numbers - a combination of a complete card number with its associated expiry date and owner's signature was found in the waste and recycling of 13% of households
  • A third of us are still throwing away everything a fraudster needs to steal a person's identity, including passports, driving licences, CVs, phone and utility bills

The Glaswegians fared worst in this study - in one week, 82% of households had disposed of material that could have been used by a fraudster. London's (Wandsworth) residents followed closely behind (74%) had disposed of material that contained such sensitive material). The most responsible behaviour patterns were seen in Birmingham (62%) and Cardiff (69%).

Equifax Inc.

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Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer, Dark Reading
Kelly Jackson Higgins 2, Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading