Posted on 23rd February 2017
We are offering advice to help you to protect your personal details from fraudsters after identity theft was rated as a top online safety concern.
726 residents in Derbyshire took part in the National Cyber Survey launched by the Economic and Cyber Crime Prevention Centre to share their views of what concerns them when heading online.
87% of those who took part identified identity theft as being their biggest concern, with ransomware and bank accounts being compromised also being highlighted as issues.
Identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be an innocent individual to buy a product or take out a loan in their name. Often 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.
To carry out this kind of fraud successfully, fraudsters usually have access to their victim’s personal information such as name, date of birth, address, their bank and who they hold accounts with. Fraudsters get hold of this in a variety of ways, including through hacking and data loss, as well as using social media to put the pieces of someone’s identity together.
Simple steps can be taken to prevent you from becoming a victim of identity fraud. This includes:
- Always shred anything with your name, address or financial information on before throwing it away and never leave things like bills lying around for others to see.
- Remember that your bank or building society will never ask for a whole security number, PIN or password.
- Ensure that you check your statements carefully and report any suspicious activity to your bank or financial service provider straight away.
- Inform your bank or credit card company if a statement that you are expecting doesn’t arrive.
- If you move house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
- Check your personal credit file 2-3 months after you have moved house to detect any key changes to your credit file which could indicate potential fraudulent activity. Callcredit, Equifax and Experian all offer a credit report checking service.
- Report any suspicious activity to the police on 101 - in an emergency dial 999
For more advice around fraud, visit the dedicated Stamp out Fraud webpage here