THE number of people falling victim to identity fraud has soared by 36% during the past year, research has showed.
An estimated 4.3m people in the UK to date are thought to have suffered from the crime, under which fraudsters steal personal details and use them to apply for credit or benefits’ in their victim’s name.
Research carried out for the organisers of National Identity Fraud Week, which started yesterday, showed that more people had fallen victim to the crime in the UK than in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium combined.
But despite the growing danger of identity fraud, 64% of people admit they still throw sensitive documents in the bin without first shredding them.
Around 12% of people also said they used the internet without having any security software in place, while just 21% of people regularly check their credit report to ensure no one has been making applications to borrow money in their name.
Only 45% of those questioned looked into why mail they had expected had failed to arrive, to ensure it had not been intercepted by fraudsters.