Identity theft is when a person’s identity is stolen and illegally used by another for personal gain.
- raid bins for bills, bank statements and junk mail
- use emails links to false websites to trick you into giving your details
- contact you by phone pretending to be the bank and asking you to confirm personal details
- steal personal information from your wallet or purse.
What can you do to prevent becoming victim?
- Keep personal information secure - do not write down or let anyone know your PIN number or passwords.
- If someone calls you about your personal details or bank accounts, always ring them back through the contact number you would normally use or ask them to give some reference details that the company would hold.
- Report any stolen or lost identity documents as soon as possible.
- Shred personal documents - destroy anything that contains your personal details (bank statements, bills, envelopes, junk mail). If you are unable to shred documents, tear them up into small pieces.
- Review your financial statements - always look at your financial statements to ensure there are no unknown transactions from your account.
- Complete regular credit checks from a credit reference agency to ensure your record is accurate.
- Don’t advertise yourself to become a victim - remove as much personal information as possible from sites on the internet, especially date of birth and addresses.
- Redirect your mail when moving house- make sure you change your address with all companies and even place a redirect on your post to ensure documents don’t fall into the wrong hands.
- Install anti-virus software and a firewall to your computer or laptop so that others cannot access your personal details.
What do I do if I become a victim?
If you believe you have become a victim of identity fraud and you think an account of yours has been defrauded, please contact the bank or building society where your account is held.