Your full name, date of birth, current address and national insurance number, and the passwords and PINs to your bank accounts are among the things they are hoping to get hold of.
Online theft is being more widely used with fraudsters setting up fake websites to get you to type in your digital banking password, which then gives them access to your accounts. So-called ‘phishing’ emails pretending to be from your bank can also lead to your details being stolen.
Social networking sites such as Facebook can also be accessed by fraudsters who ‘mine’ your postings for information. Criminals can also use the telephone – calling you at home or on your mobile, pretending to be a bank or a credit card firm and asking you to confirm your account details.
What can you do? Often the first time you notice that you’ve been a victim of identity theft will be when you try to apply for credit and are turned down because of your level of debts. Another red flag could be a series of unusual transactions on your credit card, or a letter demanding payment for an account you didn’t set up.
If you think you could be a victim of identity theft or fraud, contact Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. Then inform a credit reference agency, such as Experian, as they hold your credit report.
- We can add security features to your credit report to obstruct the fraudster and prevent him or her from running up more debts in your name.
- We can help you put a Notice of Correction (NOC) on your report – this is a brief note on your report you could use to explain to lenders that you have been the victim of identity fraud.
- You can also register for the Cifas Protective Registration Service, which will put a warning on your report alerting lenders to the fraud and that they may need to carry out additional checks.
You should also contact your lenders to explain what’s happened. Be prepared to provide proof of a stolen identity, such as statements showing you do not live at the address given for the fake accounts.
Experian Credit Expert can help you protect your personal information online – more information here. With our victims of fraud team, web monitoring and credit monitoring features, we can help you stay safe online.