The UK is at the greatest risk of identity fraud throughout Europe, according to new independent research.
As National Identity Fraud Prevention Month starts, a taskforce of partners from the public and private sector embark on a month-long initiative to help UK residents combat personal identity fraud in four simple steps.
Don’t let it be you is the message of this annual campaign which addresses the issue of ID fraud and is backed by Action Fraud, CIFAS -The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, Equifax, Norton by Symantec, Get Safe Online and Fellowes.
One in four residents in the UK (24%) has been touched by identity fraud compared to 17% average across Europe.
Identity fraud is more rife in the UK than any other European country, including Russia, where one in five (20%) are victims. Impact can be financial loss – in some cases up to £30,000 per victim – plus a negative credit rating.
Scarily, three quarters (75%) of the UK population has been exposed to ID fraud. The most common scam is a fake email supposedly from a person’s bank requesting a return email with personal information to update security details (52%). The incidence rate for this type of scam is significantly higher in the UK than the rest of Europe (31%).
And it’s not just hackers and cyber criminals targeting British households: one in 10 people in the UK have been targeted with scams requesting paper-based information to be sent through the post, where fraudsters could use personal details to potentially commit identity fraud.
People are becoming far too complacent with the security of their personal details in printed documents, such as bank statements and bills as well as their online information.
Research shows that nearly half of Brits (47%) are not taking basic precautions such as consistently shredding paper documents with personal information before discarding.