A survey carried out by YouGov for Capital One found that 99 per cent of British adults are aware of the issue of ID theft, but the majority of people do not know how to prevent it from happening.
And Capital One warns that ID theft can lead to innocent individuals being faced with sizable personal loan or credit card debts that they are obliged to pay off.
“The best advice for preventing ID theft is to take steps to protect your personal information by redirecting your mail when you move house, keeping important documents in a safe place and safeguarding your PIN and password details at all times,” said Sanjiv Yajnik, principal managing director of Capital One.
“Additionally, regularly getting a copy of your personal credit file from a credit reference agency will allow you to spot applications or accounts that have been set up without your knowledge.”
A report from the BBC in 2006 suggested that ID theft costs the UK more than £1.7 billion each year.