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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 December 2005, 22:46 GMT
Christmas ID theft warning by MPs
Discarded Christmas cards
Christmas cards should be shredded, the MPs suggest
Christmas cards, presents and gift receipts could be targets for ID fraudsters, MPs have warned the public.

People are being urged to protect against criminals obtaining their identity using the names and addresses from gift tags, envelopes and receipts.

MPs from all parties have produced a checklist on how to keep things secure.

Nigel Evans, Conservative chair of the all-party group on identity fraud, said the public should not make their ID "a gift for criminals this Christmas".

My message this Christmas is simple - do not take risks with your identity
Nigel Evans MP

Personal and confidential documents must be kept secure, the all-party committee on identity fraud warns.

Bank and credit card statements, utility bills, receipts and even Christmas cards bearing names and addresses should be shredded before being binned.

Consumers should also check their bank and credit card statements for unusual transactions.

Mr Evans adds: "Receipts from Christmas purchases can also contain sensitive information that criminals can use to piece together an identity.

"My message this Christmas is simple - do not take risks with your identity."

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