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National Identity Fraud Prevention Week

The inaugural National Identity Fraud Prevention Week ran for the first time from the 17th-23rd October 2005. This year the 3rd National Identity Fraud Prevention Week is taking place around the same time.

National Identity Fraud Prevention Week (NIDFPW) is a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness of the steps you can take to protect yourself from one of the UK’s fastest growing crimes.

There was plenty of attention drawn to the event last year which resulted in a reported increase of 500% in paper shredder sales. Paper shredders and regular shredding of every paper document you discard is a vital weapon against identity fraud and theft. In fact it has been suggested on a Home Office website that paper shredders contribute greatly to protecting against identity theft.

The government has estimated that ID fraud cost the UK £1.7bn last year.

According to CIFAS, the UK's fraud prevention service, identity theft has risen more than five-fold from 20,000 cases in 1999 to 137,000 in 2005.

But experts have suggested that the true figure of ID fraud cases is in fact far higher.
Last year a bin-raiding experiment - commissioned by the paper shredder manufacturer Fellowes and backed by the Metropolitan Police, Crimestoppers, UK fraud prevention service CIFAS and several credit rating agencies - was carried out in four streets in the London borough of Wandsworth.

Researchers, helped by the council, rifled through the rubbish and re-cycling boxes thrown out by the residents.

Out of the 120 homes the researcher found that 30% of the rubbish and re-cycling boxes contained documents with credit and debit card numbers, as well as 46% that contained bank account numbers and sort codes.

A staggering 73% of households had thrown out paper showing their exact signature on a credit or debit card, the report said.

The government believes this sort of carelessness is one reason why identity fraud has been a growing problem in the last few years.

The National Identity Fraud Prevention Week has come about to bring a heightened awareness of the facts and to encourage people and businesses to protect themselves against one of the fastest growing crimes in the U.K.

The National Identity Fraud Prevention Week takes place around the middle of October.

 
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