Millions of people expose themselves to the threat of identity theft by failing to follow simple advice on safeguarding their personal banking details, Callcredit has claimed.
The warning comes shortly after a survey from the Information Commissioner's Office revealed that eight in ten people have never seen a copy of their credit reference file while a third jettison documents such as bank statements and receipts without shredding them.
"Personal data is the lifeblood of identity thieves and they are gorging themselves on people's complacency," commented Callcredit's Melanie Mitchley, director of industry relations.
"People are underestimating the heartache," she warned.
"It can take many hours work over several weeks, even months, for someone to recover control of their identity and sort out their credit file."
The credit reference agency is advising all customers to ensure that they are 'vigilant' with regard to disclosure of personal details, shred important documents, regularly check their credit reports, redirect mail when they move house and update PC protection software.
The UK Fraud Prevention service CIFAS this week warned that the number of attempted identity frauds detected was up 21.57 per cent in 2006.For more information about identity fraud, click here.
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