Credit card fraud is often perpetrated by someone known to the victim, credit company Equifax has claimed.
Although the image the words 'identity fraud' conjures may be one of criminal networks operating online in 'invisible' and technologically complex ways, identity fraud can be a very homely affair.
In an Equifax survey in September 2006, 11 per cent of people who had been victims of identify fraud said they knew the fraudster.
Of these, 19 per cent said the culprit was a relative while 14 per cent attributed the crime to a neighbour.
Leaving personal information in easily accessible places such as a shared mail box, and throwing away unshredded bank statements, put your money at risk, Equifax's external affairs director Neil Munroe warned.
"If you live in shared accommodation keep passports, driving licences and other documents under lock and key," he advised.
Equifax urges consumers to check their account details to ensure money has not been leeched from their account, and look at their credit rating to ensure they have not involuntarily incurred black marks against their name.
Any 'unusual activity' should raise instant alarm bells, he stressed.
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