A new report suggests that four million Brits have been the victims of identity fraud, lep.co.uk reports.
Coinciding with the start of National Identity Fraud Week (NIFWPW), shredder manufacturer Fellowes and financial firm Experian have each revealed independent studies, showing that identity fraud is on the rise.
In a bid to encourage more Brits to deal with the destruction of personal information more securely and effectively, Fellowes conducted a poll to find how many had been the victims of identity fraud.
As many as four million people claimed to have had their details stolen and used illegally; roughly seven per cent of the population.
Furthermore, despite 95 per cent of Brits being aware of identity fraud, just a quarter are taking precautions to handle their bills and transactions more carefully.
Furthermore, Experian's research found that the number of victims is increasing; with the number of cases almost doubling in the first quarter of 2011 compared to 2010's figures. It worked out, Experian claims, that eight in every 10,000 credit applications were made with stolen personal details.
Speaking to pcadvisor.co.uk about the alarming trend, Fellowes spokesperson Andrea Davis warned: "No-one can afford to be complacent about ID fraud, everyone is at risk, whether young or old.
"It is important to ensure that you are not delivering your information straight into the hands of the fraudsters. The risk is very real - both off and online - and we should all be taking steps to protect our identities."