Your personal information can be stolen and used to obtain credit, goods or services fraudulently. Criminals could set up a bank account in your name, use your credit card or even get a passport in your name.
- Personal information can be taken from your rubbish, mail at old addresses and online. Never give it to anyone you’re unsure of, especially via e-mail or phone.
- Watch out for ‘phishing’: fake e-mails from banks etc.
- Keep anti-virus and firewall software up-to-date on your computer.
- Don’t let anyone take your debit or credit card out of sight when paying in a shop or restaurant.
- Hide your PIN when paying in or withdrawing cash.
- Remember that your bank would never contact you to ask you for your PIN, password or other security information in full.
- Make sure to shred any documents containing your details or confidential information.
- Avoid using your mother's maiden name as a password and try not to write down your password or PIN.
- Don't use the same password for more than one account.
- If you move house, contact your bank, give them your new address and arrange with the Post Office to have your mail redirected.
Make sure you’re getting all your bills; check statements for transactions you don’t recognise. Monitor your credit reports with a credit reference agency. If you are refused credit despite having a good rating, you may be a victim of fraud. If you are expecting a statement, new card or cheque book by post and it does not arrive within the indicated length of time, contact your bank immediately.
If you are a victim of bank or card fraud
Contact your card provider. Most companies promptly replace cards. Freeze accounts, whether with creditors, banks, phone companies or utilities providers. Ask a credit reference agency for advice on clearing up the problem.
Call Credit Phone 0870 060 1414
Equifax Phone 0870 010 0583
Experian Phone 0870 241 6212
Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service (CIFAS) lets you file a Protective Registration notice on your credit file, showing potential lenders that you’ve been a victim of identify fraud so they’ll take special care checking further credit applications from you.
Phone: 0870 010 2091
When recovering from identity theft, keep a record of all relevant correspondence and time spent on it in case of legal proceedings. Send letters by registered mail and keep copies.
Remember - if you fall victim to a scam, con, trick or fraud, report it to Action Fraud.