Identity theft occurs when your personal details such as your PPS number, date of birth, driving licence and banking details are compromised or stolen allowing fraudsters to pose as you.
This allow fraudsters to use your information to obtain credit or to purchase goods or services in your name, take over your bank account or to make applications in your name for new bank accounts, cards or loans.
Social media can assist a fraudster in gaining personal information – date of birth, maiden name, mother’s maiden name, where you work….. Think about what you might post where you work = payday date, where you have been shopping or socialising = recent transactions on your account, all of this is information that a fraudster can you to bypass security questions.
One of the biggest problems with identity theft is that the crimes committed by the fraudster can often be attributed to you. If this happens, you may have difficulty applying for loans, cards or a mortgage until the matter is sorted out. You should carefully guard any personal information that might allow a thief to impersonate you.
- Keep important personal documents such as your passport, birth certificate, payment cards and cheque books in a safe and secure place.
- Limit or restrict how much personal information you share or divulge on social network sites.
- Shred or destroy any documents containing personal information before disposing of them.
- Regularly check your bank and credit card statements. If you find an unfamiliar or unusual card payment or bank transaction, contact your card issuer or bank immediately.
- Report lost and stolen cards or suspected fraudulent use of your account to your bank or financial institution immediately.
- In the event that your passport, driving licence, cards or other personal documents have been lost or stolen, immediately contact the organisation that issued them.
- Never give credit card or online account details or copies of personal documents to anyone you don’t know or trust.
- Never disclose your card PIN or your full online banking password to anyone.
- When confirming security information, your bank will only ever ask for specific characters within your password and not your whole password. If in doubt, ask for proof of identity or undertake your own checks to confirm legitimacy.
- Be aware that your post is valuable information in the wrong hands. If you fail to receive a bank or card statement, a replacement card or PIN number, a utility bill or other financial
- Re-direct your mail when moving house. Contact your bank and all other organisations and provide them with the new address.