Identity Fraud – what is it?
Identity theft is when your personal details are stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud.
47% of all frauds recorded in 2010 were identity frauds – approx 100,000 cases – FACT
Below are some helpful tips on how to protect yourself and prevent ID fraud.
1. Only carry debit/credit cards that you need – how many of us carry all cards in our purse/wallet. Imagine losing your purse/wallet and how much personal information it contains?
- Maintain a minimum of credit cards if possible. Minimise the amount of information criminals can steal.
- Keep PIN numbers safe – never carry your pin number in your purse or with your credit cards. Never use a PIN that is your date of birth, telephone number, year of birth etc as with some additional information, a fraudster could easily work this one out.
- When you purchase retail goods, always pay attention to the sales person dealing with the transaction. Never lose sight of your card as this is how fraudsters take copies and clone cards.
- Keep details of all bank accounts, credit card numbers etc safe at home, along with the fraud departments phone number. That way, if you lose a card, you can cancel it very easily and quickly.
- Never reveal your PIN number to anyone and always keep it covered when entering it at cash machines or retail shops.
- Never put your bank statements or credit card statements in the bin. Always ensure these are shredded securely.
- Avoid opening any emails from senders you do not recognise. This is one way fraudsters try to access your personal information and hack your laptop or computer.
- When purchasing goods online, ensure the website payment facility is secure. Never enter your personal details into a website that is unsecure.
- When asked if you would approve your details being passed on to other companies, say no. You never know what information is being passed on and who to.
- Ask companies to remove all information held about you, for example credit searches and companies such as Experian. This will limit the amount of credit you are approved for and therefore if a fraudster tried to steal your identity, they would be limited. Also, when receiving credit card offers in the post, never bin these. Always dispose of them securely as it only takes one person to find this in your bin and apply for a credit card in your name.
ID Fraud is on the rise in the UK. Please keep your personal information safe.
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