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Public backs ID cards to beat identity theft

Tash Shifrin

The public believes that ID cards are the best solution to identity theft and fraud, according to a survey published this week.

More than half of those polled (57%) said ID cards were their first or second preferred method to protect themselves against identity theft, the survey of 1,000 people aged 16 to 64 showed.

But George Platt, general manager of US voice automation firm Intervoice, which commissioned the UK survey, warned that ID cards would “do nothing” to prevent ID theft through telephone or online purchasing.

“It's a step in the right direction but it’s a multifaceted problem that just an ID card won’t solve,” he said.

Worries over identity theft were starting to affect online and telephone sales, the survey found. Nearly one in five (19%) of respondents had stopped making telephone purchases and 17% had abandoned online banking because of identity theft fears. Another 13% had stopped shopping online.

“The ID card is going to help with point of purchase type fraud, but not over the phone type fraud,” Platt said.

According to Platt, voice recognition systems combined with other data checks was a better way of protecting against phone fraud.

Platt said it was essential to educate the public about the risk of ID theft and how fraudsters combined information from different sources to steal identities. He also backed action by businesses to protect customer data.

“The reality is the public has no idea. It is up to businesses to figure out how to secure their customers,” he said.


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