Millions of UK households at risk of ID theft

Almost 20m UK households are opening themselves up to fraud by failing to take precautions against identity theft, according to new research marking the UK's first-ever National Identity Fraud Prevention Week.

A 'bin raiding' exercise by MEL Research found that 77 per cent of household waste contained at least one or more items which could assist fraudsters in stealing an identity. That means more than 18m UK (out of a total of 24.5m) households are throwing away sensitive financial documents such as bank statements and utility bills that might be useful to "dumpster diving" identity fraudsters.

Although the public fear being a victim of identity fraud more than pickpocketing, mugging or even burglary, a large number still put themselves at risk by disposing of private information without first rendering it unreadable. A poll by Populus shows that 40 per cent of the public questioned rated identity fraud, one of Britainís fastest growing crimes, as their major concern in a list of crimes that included burglary (27 per cent), mugging (21 per cent) and pickpocketing (3 per cent). Millions of UK households at risk of ID theft | The Register

Linked by shanmuga Monday, 17th October 2005 8:00AM