LONDON, 2015-6-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — An awareness campaign encouraging people to protect their personal information has been launched today. The ‘Not With My Name’ campaign, produced in partnership with the City of London Police (National Policing Lead for Fraud) is targeting identity crime in our communities.
The campaign will be highlighting advice focused on helping people protect their personal information. This will include pointers on creating safe passwords, protecting internet devices, dealing with unsolicited phone calls and emails, and safely storing and disposing of mail.
These messages will be shared across the country, with the campaign being supported by 35 local police forces and organisations that include Get Safe Online, Cifas, FFA UK, Age UK and Experian.
Identity fraud is an offence that one in four UK adults – 12.275 million people – is believed to have fallen victim to losing on average £1200 each. Total losses to the UK adult population are estimated to be £3.3 billion.*
In the first quarter of 2015 there was a 27% increase in identity fraud. The average age of a victim was 46, with men being 1.7 times more likely than women to have their identity stolen.**
The knock-on effects range from the inconvenient to the highly distressing, with issues taking on average on average 200 hours of a person or businesses time to resolve. Victims often find that money has been removed from their bank or their account has been taken over, a fraudulent passport or driving license has been created in their name, or loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts have been set-up using their identity.
The wider effects for society are also concerning with the proceeds of identity crime often being used to fund further criminal activity. City of London Police Commander Steve Head, who is the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, said:
“Identity crime – the creation of a false identity or the misuse of a genuine identity – is a key facilitator to committing further criminality, evading detection from law enforcement and laundering criminal profits. What many of us do not appreciate is the sheer scale of the problem, with one in four adults believed to have been a victim.
“To really get to grips with identity crime requires us all to come together and share advice on how to protect our personal information at home, in the workplace and while out in public places. Following the top tips provided by the ‘Not With My Name’ campaign will help people better understand the nature and scale of the threat they face which in turn will hopefully make them much less likely to fall victim to this type of offence.”
*National Fraud Authority Annual Fraud Indicator 2013
**According 2015 Cifas report: 2015 Cifas Report: ID Fraud First Quarter
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