Police launch campaign to halt rise in identity crime
Published on 01 July 2015 12:01 AM
Local police forces have launched a campaign to raise awareness of identity crimes in the UK.
The 'Not with my name' campaign, produced in partnership with the City of London Police (the National Policing Lead for Fraud), highlights the risk of identity crime in the UK.
It is believed that 1 in 4 adults have fallen victim to identity crime, with each losing on average £1,200 each - the total loss to the UK adult population is estimated to be £3.3 billion.
Identity fraud is on the rise with a 27% increase in the first quarter of 2015. Findings also show that men are 1.7 times more likely than women to have their identity stolen.
Not with my name will highlight how people can protect their personal information by creating safe passwords, protecting internet devices, dealing with unsolicited phone calls and emails, and safely storing and disposing of mail.
The messages will be shared across the country by 35 local police forces and organisations, including Age UK, Get Safe Online, Cifas, FFA UK and Experian.
You can read tips on how to protect yourself from identity crime by downloading the Not with my name (PDF 1.3 MB) leaflet.
City of London Police Commander Steve Head, who is the Police National Coordinator for Economic Crime, said: 'What many of us do not appreciate is the sheer scale of the problem, with 1 in 4 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.'
'Wake-up call' for Government and financial institutions
Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: 'A 27% increase in identity fraud should act as a wake-up call to Government and financial institutions who need to stop the unabating threat of fraud.
'Figures like this aren't surprising to us as time and time again we're seeing stats that highlight this relentless problem. This could get much worse over time as scams get more elaborate and opportunities to defraud vulnerable older people increase.
That anyone would target an older person to defraud them in the first place is vile but we know that older people can be especially vulnerable if they are lonely and isolated or suffer with dementia or cognitive decline.
'To have someone use your identity and personal details in order to commit further acts of criminality is abhorrent.
People can try and avoid this type of fraud by taking steps to protect their private information and being careful about where they store or discard their correspondence.
'Fraud is something that can happen to any of us at any age. Being one step ahead of these despicable people is part of the answer to this alarming problem. But Government and financial institutions need to take much more determined action against it.'
Scams Awareness Month
Scams Awareness Month 2015 will also take place throughout July. The awareness campaign from Citizens Advice aims to equip consumers with the information they need to protect themselves from postal scams, online scams, doorstep scams, phone scams and other common scams.
Visit our scams and fraud section for more tips on protecting yourself.