Identity theft happens when someone gets hold of your personal information or identity without your permission and then uses it to buy things in your name.
To reduce your chances of identity theft, follow these tips:
- Don’t throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
- If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call from what appears to be your bank or building society asking for your security details, never reveal your full password, login details or account numbers. Be aware that a bank will never ask for your PIN or for a whole security number or password.
- If you are concerned about the source of a call, wait five minutes and call your bank from a different telephone making sure there is a dialling tone.
- Check your statements carefully and report anything suspicious to the bank or financial service provider concerned.
- Don’t leave things like bills lying around for others to look at.
- If you’re expecting a bank or credit card statement and it doesn’t arrive, tell your bank or credit card company.
- If you move house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
- These three credit reference agencies offer a credit report checking service to alert you to any key changes on your credit file that could indicate potential fraudulent activity. • Callcredit • Equifax • Experian. It is particularly helpful to check your personal credit file 2-3 months after you have moved house.
When using cash machines
- Don’t use a cash machine if it looks like it has been modified or tampered with.
- Never let anybody see your PIN and shield the keypad when entering the number.