Your identity is a valuable commodity - you need it to function
in everyday life. You need to prove who you are to open bank
accounts, obtain credit cards, loans, mortgages or to claim
benefits. However, like most commodities, your identity
can be stolen and used in a variety of ways.
Fraudsters can impersonate you and take out various forms of
credit using your identity or apply for documents such as passports
and driving licenses in your name. All the fraudster needs is a few
of your details - a document bearing your name and/or your
address makes it even easier.
This phenomenon is commonly known as identity theft (or identity
fraud) and is the fastest growing type of fraud in the UK. By
managing your personal information carefully, you can substantially
reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of identity fraud.
Here are a few tips to show you how:
- Be vigilant: beware of anybody who contacts
you unexpectedly and asks for personal information or account
details even if they claim to be from your bank or an official
- Shred all documents before you throw them
away: shredding documents is the best way to ensure that
criminals cannot build up a profile based on the information you
discard in your rubbish.
- Secure your post: fraudsters may try to
redirect your mail without your permission. If you use a central or
communal postal delivery point make sure your mail is secured until
you can collect it.
- If you move house or go away: tell your bank,
card issuer and of course all other organisations that you deal
with immediately, to avoid your post falling into the wrong
For more information visit: www.stop-idfraud.co.uk