ID fraud fears continue to grow

06 December 2007
UK consumers' fears are mounting over the growing risk of identity fraud according to the latest research from American Express.

Concerns over identity theft have doubled during the last year and look set to surpass 'yob culture' as the primary source of worry for British women. The new figures from American Express Insurance Services reveal the extent to which identity theft has become a key safety issue for the British public – overtaking more traditional crime fears such as car theft and vandalism.

Following a poll conducted by YouGov, 2,000 Britons were asked to reveal their top safety concerns were in the run up to Christmas before the results were compared to a survey conducted at the beginning of the year in order to see if the attitudes and perceptions had changed over the course of 2007.

The results confirmed that the percentage of people with safety fears has risen from 63 per cent to 76 per cent between January and December. This has been compounded by a combination of greater internet usage and recent high profile security breaches.

Fears over ID fraud have soared from 22 per cent to 41 per cent this year, so that ID theft is now nearly as worrying for the British public as yob culture, which 44 per cent of respondents picked as their top security concern.

Women are more worried about the threat of ID fraud than men with 43 per cent versus 40 per cent respectively and, despite being more tech-savvy, 38 per cent of the 24-34 year old group are also more likely to cite internet fraud as a major concern.

Chris Rolland, Head of American Express Insurance Services, comments on the findings: “Events in the last few weeks have clearly focused the public’s attention on identity theft issues. At a time when people are gearing up for a festive spending spree, whether in the high street or online, now is a good time for people to protect their identity.

"We appreciate that for busy Brits today there never seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything, but protecting one’s identity is something everyone should review every now and then."

With ID fraud firmly on the public agenda, fears over other kinds of theft are also on the increase such as the risk of burglary which has risen from 14 per cent to 34 per cent since the beginning of 2007 while worries over car vandalism is up to 28 per cent.

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