One in seven tenants has had their post intercepted and for some this has led to identity fraud.

Figures released today by life assistance company CPP claimed that UK renters are falling prey to identity fraud, as their post is stolen and their personal details are used for illegal purposes.

It claimed that among the crimes committed using personal information obtained from intercepted post are bogus mobile phone contracts, fraudulent transactions on shopping catalogue accounts, and takeover of victims' bank accounts.

Only 36 per cent of renters inform their bank when they move address and over 85 per cent of tenants claim to have received post for former residents.

Danny Harrison, identity theft expert from CPP, said: “Fraudsters are using more sophisticated ways to steal personal details like the internet, but we mustn't forget the more obvious methods like having your post stolen.

“To avoid falling victim it's vital that people use the Royal Mail Redirection service for at least 12 months when they move to ensure important information does not go missing. When changing address, you need to make a note of all the important post you receive and tell them you are moving – not only your bank and credit card company, but mail from your work, gym, council and inland revenue.

“If you suspect your mail is being stolen, contact the Royal Mail customer enquiry line and check whether a mail redirection order has been made in your name without your knowledge. You can also apply for an identity fraud protection policy to insure you against the consequences of identity fraud and resolve your credit status.”