9 October 2008
Barrett issues warning over identity fraud
John Barrett, local Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today issued fresh warnings to Edinburgh residents to keep their personal details secure.
The Edinburgh West MP made the warning as part of national identity fraud prevention week after new research revealed that Britain suffers one of the highest rates of identity fraud in Europe, with 4.3 million adults already victims.
Government figures show that identity fraud costs the economy more than £1 billion annually.
John Barrett said:
“I have been contacted by many constituents who are increasingly concerned about the dangers of identity fraud.
“Simple things can make a big difference – By keeping your personal and confidential documents secure, regularly checking your bank and credit card accounts for unusual transactions and obtaining a copy of your credit report we can drastically lower our chances of falling victim to fraudsters.
“With card fraud on the rise, especially on the internet it is vital that we all use secure online payment systems and, wherever possible new hand-held card reader devices provided by banks to secure online banking transactions, as well as simple steps such as disposing of bank statements properly and securely.
“While we can all take precautions to protect our data, it is important too that Government departments take this issue more seriously and put an end to the high profile cases of data loss.”
Mr Barrett has produced a ‘Safer Communities Pack’ endorsed by local Police, containing advice on the best ways for local people to protect against fraud and bogus salesmen. The pack is available from Mr Barrett’s Drum Brae constituency office on 0131 339 0339.
For further information on national fraud prevention week contact Shaya Raymond at the All Party Group on Identity Fraud on 020 7395 7043 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
APACS, the UK payments association, published these figures:
- Total card fraud losses have increased by 14% in the six months to June 2008, compared with the first half of 2007
- Criminals target places: where chip and PIN is not used – transactions over the phone and internet – which accounts for 54% of card fraud (by fraud type); and abroad, which accounts for 40% of card fraud (by location of fraud).
- Independent pan-European market research, commissioned by Fellowes for National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, reveals that Britain suffers one of the region’s highest rates of identity fraud. The survey revealed that 4.3 million adults have already fallen victim.