Cheshire Police Economic Crime Unit has today launched an awareness campaign encouraging people to protect their personal information.
The ‘Not With My Name’ campaign, produced in partnership with the City of London Police is targeting identity crime in our communities.
Identity fraud is an offence that one in four UK adults is believed to have fallen victim to, losing on average £1,200 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 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.
T/Detective Inspector Karen Jaundrill of the Cheshire Police Economic Crime Unit, said:
The aim of this campaign is to raise people’s awareness around the issue of identify fraud. We are encouraging people to take the time to read this advice and look at ways you can protect yourself, your family and your business.
Once your personal details have been obtained criminals then use a number of methods to commit fraud including widespread use of the internet.
To combat this rising threat the ‘Not With My Name’ 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.
Individuals and businesses that have fallen victim to a fraud facilitated by an identity crime should report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.