How to prevent identity theft – top tips

identity theft

By Mutton Club staff.

How to protect yourself from identity theft and fraud.

We were recently sent this infographic on identity theft and fraud. We thought it had some great information in it so we’re sharing it here.

Identity theft happens when fraudsters access enough information about your identity (such as your name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased.

If you’re a victim of identity theft, it can lead to fraud that can have a direct impact on your personal finances and could also make it difficult for you to obtain loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is resolved.

According to the police, fraudsters can use your identity details to:

  • Open bank accounts.
  • Obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits.
  • Order goods in your name.
  • Take over your existing accounts.
  • Take out mobile phone contracts.
  • Obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.

Stealing an individual’s identity details does not, on its own, constitute identity fraud. But using that identity for any of the above activities does.

All age groups are seeing a huge increase in this issue and we have potentially much more to lose as we age. We reckon it really pays to be aware of the risks and do something to reduce them.  This infrographic is focused on the situation in the UK but we believe the advice is relevant for anyone anywhere.

If you think you’ve been a victim of identity fraud Cifas (Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service) recommends the following  – ACT FAST:

  • If you receive any mail that seems suspicious or implies you have an account with the sender when you don’t, do not ignore it. It only takes five minutes to contact a credit reference agency over the phone to report your concerns.
  • Get a copy of your credit report as it is one of the first places you can spot if someone is misusing your personal information – before you suffer financial loss. Review every entry on your credit report and if you see an account or even a credit search from a company that you do not recognise, notify the credit reference agency.
  • Individuals or businesses who have fallen victim to identity fraud should report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or online at www.actionfraud.police.uk
  • If you believe your are at risk of identity fraud or you have been a victim you may also wish to take out Protective Registration with Cifas as an additional way to try to prevent fraud taking place in your name. visit www.cifas.org.uk/pr for more information.
  • If you have information about those committing identity crime please tell independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
  • If you have been a victim of fraud, you can contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice and support. Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. Find out more at www.victimsupport.org.uk

 

How to protect personal informationYou may also like How To Protect Personal Information and Why It’s Crucial To Protect Digital Assets.

 

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