PSNI backs campaign to tackle growing threat from identity fraud

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Monday, July 6th, 2015
Millions of people in the UK are failing to take basic steps like redirecting post or updating firewalls to protect their identities from criminals, a new survey shows. fraud1The results have been published as the City of London Police and partners including PSNI launch the ‘Not With My Name’ campaign to target the growing threat of identity crime in the UK. One in four UK adults – 12.275 million people – is believed to have fallen victim to identity crime losing on average £1,200 each, with total losses to the UK adult population estimated to be £3.3 billion. The campaign, which is backed by PSNI, urges people to protect their personal information by creating safe passwords, protecting internet devices, rejecting unsolicited phone calls and emails, and safely storing and disposing of mail. Worryingly, today’s survey shows that many people are not taking these steps: • Online security – 1 in 3 (34%) do not regularly update their firewall or antivirus software; • Social media –1 in 3 (35%) do not limit the amount of information they share on social media; • Safe disposal of documents – 1 in 3 (31%) of people do not shred letters before throwing them away. Two thirds of people (71%) do not regularly redirect their post for at least six months when they move house, leaving them vulnerable to bank statements or other mail being intercepted by fraudsters. Identity crime is growing in the UK and protecting personal information is essential to combating the threat. In the first quarter of 2015 there was a 27% increase in identity fraud. The average age of a victim of ID fraud is 46, with men being 1.7 times more likely than women to have their identity stolen. The tips to protect yourself from identity fraud are: • Be careful who you give your personal information to and how • Make it as difficult as possible to crack your personal passwords • Always destroy or securely store personal documents • Don’t respond to unsolicited phone calls or emails • Protect your personal devices
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