It’s National ID Fraud Week

Claire Walker

Datonomy was interested to learn that this week is National Identity Fraud Prevention Week
Marking its fifth year, the initiative is a joint effort between various public and private sector bodies. These include CIFAS , (the UK’s fraud prevention service), various police bodies, The Identity and Passport Service, business groups such as The British Retail Consortium, the credit reference agencies, and Royal Mail. Oh, and Fellowes which manufactures personal shredders.
Another organisation backing the initiative is the National Fraud Authority which celebrated (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) its own first birthday this month.
Despite growing public awareness of ID fraud, the website suggests that risk avoidance measures (if any) taken by individuals and organisations are not keeping pace. The website has a wealth of useful tips and checklists for both individuals and businesses.
If you need more convincing, here are some selected statistics:

  • only 64% of businesses have put in place a clear policy on how to handle documents with sensitive information
  • 32% of employees admit to always throwing sensitive documents directly into the bin
  • Identity fraud costs the UK economy over £1.2 billion annually
  • 40% of businesses throw away information which includes home addresses, phone numbers and photocopies of passports – rich pickings for an ID thief
  • nearly 60,000 UK residents have fallen victim so far this year – a 36% increase when compared with the first nine months of 2008
  • 44% of Britons still don’t shred documents containing sensitive information before placing them in the bin.
  • Only 54% of UK residents routinely check financial statements – and just 45% follow-up on missing post

There are lots more fraud stats on this page of the website.
Right, I’m off to buy a new shredder.

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