Police in Beds are urging local people and businesses to work together with the authorities to protect their identities.....
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Millions of us are at risk of identity fraud

Posted on October 9, 2007

Police in Beds are urging local people and businesses to work together with the authorities to protect their identities.

This article was published in October 2007. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

The calls come as part of the National Identity Fraud Prevention Week campaign which aims to educate consumers and businesses to the dangers of identity fraud.

Despite continuing efforts to combat identity fraud - still one of the UK's fastest growing crimes - a poll commissioned for the campaign showed that 75 per cent of UK adults have been personally affected, or have friends and family who have been affected, by identity fraud.

Over 19 million households regularly dump 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.

DI Shane Roberts head of the Beds economic crime unit, said: "Identity fraud is a serious and growing problem which affects all our communities. From experience, we know that the best way to safeguard our personal information is through strong preventative measures, whether you're shopping online, or throwing out your bills."

Exclusive research carried out by Experian for National Identity Fraud Prevention Week showed that everyone, from the wealthiest and most creditworthy sections of society to council tenants and students were at risk.

Leaflets containing information on how to avoid identity theft are available from Beds Police Stations.

There are several ways ID fraudsters may potentially target consumers. These include: theft of personal documents or security information; stealing post from communal hallways; using mail which has not been re-directed after someone has moved; duping consumers to disclose personal details online; or bin raiding.

Further information on how to protect yourself, and how to cope if you are a victim of identity fraud. visit www.stop-idfraud.co.uk. or call freephone 00 800 1810 1810 to get a copy of the guide.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 9 October 2007

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