DONCASTER, England, /PRNewswire/ -- This week sees the launch of the first ever Identity Fraud Prevention Awards. The awards recognize and reward companies doing excellent work fighting identity fraud and those that have taken proactive steps to reduce their and their customers' risk.

The Identity Fraud Prevention Awards are being launched as part of this year's National Identity Fraud Prevention campaign. The National Identity Fraud Prevention campaign is a nationwide initiative aimed at informing individuals and businesses about the threat of identity fraud and educating them on the best practices of how to protect themselves. The awards are supported by Fellowes, Equifax, National Fraud Authority, Experian, Metropolitan Police and City of London Police.

Identity fraud still costs the UK an estimated GBP1.2 billion every year. While consumers are now increasingly aware of the risks posed by ID fraud, this is not yet the case for corporate fraud. Over a third (36%) of UK businesses don't have a comprehensive policy or procedure in place to prevent identity fraud.

Yet, there are also many examples of companies who are leading the way in helping prevent and protect against these threats. These companies are not only holding the standard in helping to protect themselves, but are also inspiring and educating others to step up and do their part in the prevention process.

An identity fraud breach can not only cost a company dearly, but it can also cause irreparable damage to a company's reputation. Conversely, being publicly known as a company which actively fights against identity fraud can be a selling point for companies in competitive times such as these.

"Keeping data secure is crucial for any business, especially with increased sensitivity around the way that companies handle their own data and that of their customers and suppliers. Simple steps such as registering and checking your details with security schemes, verifying customer identities with a credit reference agency, or destroying documents securely with a shredder can help. While some companies are not following or demonstrating best practice, there are thousands of companies out there who are taking the fight against identity fraud seriously. We hope that these awards will not only recognize those companies who are going the extra mile, but also help to educate and inspire other organisations to take up the fight too," commented Tyron Hill, spokesperson for National Identity Fraud Prevention Week and Marketing Director at Fellowes Europe (award sponsor).

Dr Bernard Herdan, CEO of National Fraud Authority said, "Identity fraud is frequently the starting point for other frauds being committed. By cracking down on their vulnerability to identity fraud, businesses protect themselves and their customers from further exposure to crime, making the UK a more hostile environment for fraudsters. This award is a great opportunity for companies to win public recognition of their work fighting identity fraud."

Candidates for the award can be any business, of any size, which feels that it has put in place successful measures to prevent fraudsters targeting their company.

Eligibility for the award doesn't depend on how expensive your prevention measures are; some of the most effective ways of fighting fraud are simple and sometimes even free!

If you feel that your company does outstanding work in protecting its data and clients from identity fraud, visit the website: to fill in the entry form.

The submission deadline is September 17, 2010. The shortlist will be announced on September 27, 2010.