‘Not With My Name’ campaign aims to halt rise in identity crime affecting one in four adults
North Yorkshire Police are, this week, undertaking 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 (National Policing Lead for Fraud) is targeting identity crime in our communities.
Identity fraud is an offence that one in four UK adults – 12.275 million people – 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.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker, Head of Cybercrime at North Yorkshire Police, said: “One in four adults in the UK have fallen victim to identity fraud, and some of these live and work in North Yorkshire. Many people do not realise the scale of this problem and it is important we encourage as many people as we can to take steps to protect themselves against this type of crime. Identity crime is a key facilitator to committing further criminality, evading detection from law enforcement and laundering criminal profit, all of which have the potential to cause harm to our communities. We hope the Not With My Name campaign will make people aware that North Yorkshire is not immune to this problem and that we must all take some simple steps to ensure we protect ourselves from Identity theft. More information and advice can also be found on the North Yorkshire Police website www.northyorkshire.police.uk/cybercrime”
To combat this rising threat, the ‘Not With My Name’ campaign highlights 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.
Tony Neate, CEO, Get Safe Online said: “Luckily, what we share about ourselves online – especially on social media – is in our own control and keeping things private will make it more difficult for criminals to steal our identity. Something as simple as changing our privacy settings on social media will only take a moment but could protect us from a devastating crime. We also need to be wary of phishing emails or texts that convince us to share personal data, as well as ‘shoulder surfing’ where people look over your shoulder to get hold of log in details. With more of us now accessing things like online banking on our smart phones when we’re out and about, the simple practices of covering our screens and putting a PIN number on our devices shouldn’t be underestimated. This campaign should be a call to action for people to keep their personal information safe online.”
Katy Worobec Director of Financial Fraud Action UK said: “Criminals are after your personal details in order to steal your identity and commit fraud – so it’s important to be alert. If you get a call, text or email out of the blue, don’t reveal any information unless you are absolutely sure who you are dealing with. Remember, your bank or the police will never call you to ask for your 4 digit PIN or your online banking password, or for you to transfer money to a new account for fraud reasons – anyone asking you to do so is a fraudster.”
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.