The postman cometh

Identity fraud increased 17 per cent over the first quarter of 2006, with fraudsters increasingly turning to post as a vulnerable point for crucial information.

They are helped in this by the fifth of people who do not bother informing others when they move home, despite 50 per cent of all fraud using people’s previous addresses.

This laziness means that 23 per cent of households have received banks statements intended for a previous resident, claims the research by Prudential.

A further 50 per cent have received utility bills, polling details, insurance certificates and credit card statements meant for someone who has moved on.

All of these documents provide enough detail for a crook to help fake an identity, potentially ruining the true ownerís credit record.

“Despite more than 100,000 people being affected by identity fraud each year, a quarter of households are unconcerned about identity fraud and fail to take even basic precautions,” said Nick Fox of Prudential.

“Being a victim of identity theft causes a huge inconvenience and can cost thousands of pounds, however there are simple steps that people can take in order to significantly minimise their risk.”

© Adfero Ltd

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