Fraud can come in many forms and is not a victimless crime – In the UK the sector with the largest increase was Identity (ID) Fraud as reported by CIFAS.
ID Fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be an innocent individual to buy a product or take out a credit facility in their name. Victims do not even realise that they have been targeted until a bill arrives for something they did not buy, or they experience problems with their credit rating. Fraudsters will get access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, their bank and who they hold accounts with. They get these in a variety of ways, from stealing mail through to hacking; obtaining data on the ‘dark web’; exploiting personal information on social media, or though ‘social engineering’ where innocent parties are persuaded to give up personal information to someone pretending to be from their bank, the police or a trusted retailer.
If you suspect you are a victim of ID Fraud
If we contacted you or you suspect you are a victim of fraud you should act now:
How to prevent becoming a victim of ID Fraud
You can protect yourself and your personal information by doing the following:
Shred all documents that contain sensitive information about you and your accounts before discarding
Carry out personal credit report checks regularly – Some credit reference agencies offer a credit report checking service to alert you to any key changes on your credit file that could indicate potentially fraudulent activity.
Ensure all your post is redirected to your new address after moving to a new house
Be careful not to post sensitive information to social networking sites (also ensuring photos do not expose any information)
Always report a missing driving license or passport at your earliest convenience
Check bank statements regularly
Other Helpful links
Take Five to Stop Fraud – straightforward and impartial advice to help you protect yourself against financial fraud.
FFA UK - information about the various types of payment fraud, plus helpful tips and advice.
Action Fraud - the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime.
Stop – ID Fraud – Tips and advice to help fight ID fraud.