Ten Tips to Prevent ID Theft
Ten Tips to Prevent ID Theft
Having your identity stolen can be a nightmare, both emotionally and financially. Unfortunately, Identity theft is a crime that is on the rise with one in four adults in the UK having been a victim or know someone that has. “smile,” the UK Internet bank, has come up with its top ten tips to prevent ID theft in a bid to combat this ever-increasing figure.
Allan Brown, marketing manager at smile, said: “It is a good idea to protect your identity against fraud, following a few simple steps like these could make a real difference. Don’t wait for someone to steal your identity, take precautions now.”
Check your statement — If you notice anything strange on your statements or if you think someone may have accessed your accounts, contact your bank immediately
Protect your identity — Invest in a shredder to destroy any receipts, bills, bank statements and even junk mail that you wouldn’t want other people getting their hands on
Your login details — Be aware of others close by who may try to take note of your account information. Don’t choose or change your security details in a public place
Your cards — Always keep your cards in your possession and never let them out of your sight. Never let anyone know your Personal Identification Number (PIN). When using a cash machine or using your card in a shop beware of anyone trying to watch you enter your PIN
Your security information — Avoid password that others can guess. Don’t tell anyone your security details and never ever write them down. Change your security information immediately if you suspect anyone else may have gained access to it
Your credit file — Check your credit file for accuracy. Look for unauthorized activity, such as new accounts you didn’t open, credit searches by companies you haven’t dealt with or address links to addresses you don’t recognize. You can arrange to receive your credit file regularly to monitor credit applications made in your name
Unknown callers — Never give information to an unknown caller who can’t prove their identity, even if they do claim to be from your bank. Offer to call them back if you have any suspicions
Moving — If you move, inform all the relevant organizations of your change in address
Your transactions — Be sure you are dealing with a genuine and legitimate company before giving them any account details, particularly if they have approached you
Documents — Keep all your important documents, such as your passport, driving license, birth/marriage certificate, in a safe place (but not all together if possible). They are as valuable to a criminal as electronics or jeweler and can be easily sold to an identity thief
A person’s ID can be worth thousands to a thief and without the right precautions, can be easy to steal.
As the crime is hidden, it can take months for a person to realize that there is a problem. They may only find out about it when their application for a mortgage or a credit card is refused. In some cases, it can be as extreme as the police turning up at the door.