What is Identity Theft?
This theft is when your personal and private information including your name, address, date of birth etc are stolen and to be used to purchase goods and other services in your name.
How often do you just throw out your bank statement, utility bills or even credit card statements with your day-to-day rubbish? You assume as your household rubbish is in a secure bin liner or rubbish collection bin that your identity is safe.
However, sadly this is not the case. There are people who will go through your rubbish before it has been collected and try to obtain certain details from what they can find in your bin.
They only need a small amount of information to steal your identity
One good thing to use is a Protect ID Stamp which is great for small documents which you can be used to cover up those personal documents with just one press.
When putting any personal information into the rubbish bin makes sure you shred any documents. If you do not have a shredder make sure you black out any vital information and then cut the document into very small pieces
Another step you can take is to make sure your details are not on any junk mail and pre-approved credit card lists. A fraudster could get hold of this list for their own benefit.
Photocopy the contents of your wallet. Make copies of credit cards, ID cards, and all other personal documents you keep in your wallet. Also, keep records of phone numbers to contact in case you need to close accounts or order replacement items.
If you do not want to spend time shredding and have only a few documents then why not use
How do you know you are a victim?
Sadly you will not know until the following happen
Have there been any fraudulent activity on your bank statement that you simply cannot account for. This can include unusual payments to companies you have never contacted before or worse missing money from your account.
Has any unusual post arrived at your house addressed to someone you do not know. This is a crucial thing to note. Perhaps you have just moved home and this ould be post for the previous tenant but always checked.
Have you recently applied for a new mobile phone/loan/mortgage or any other financial service which requires a credit check and you were turned out. Unless you knew you had a poor credit score before applying you must then start to look into this.
What the scammers can use your private information for
Fraudsters can use your identity details to do the following:-
Open bank accounts.
Obtain credit cards, loans and also claim benefits.
Order goods in your name – but they are clever and would get the items redirected.
Obtain mobile phone contracts and not pay as you go. So would rake up a huge mobile phone bill.
Get a new passport or driving licence in your name.
Make sure you do the following
Cancel any lost or stolen bank/credit cards immediately. Your bank must be contacted as soon as you think you are a victim of ID Fraud
If you are waiting for new bank/credit card/passport/driving licence and it has not arrived then make sure you contact the organisation right away.
Check with the following credit check agencies to see if your account is up to date and that no record is shown for credit checks you have not asked for
By following these tips you should not become a victim of ID Fraud.