Victims of Fraud Survey
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Top tips for keeping your identity safe
- Shred sensitive documents, such as financial statements, before throwing them away. Delete your name, address and account number from catalogues and direct mail offers too – or shred those pages as well.
- Never share passwords or PINs and don’t write them down. Don’t use the same PINs and passwords for multiple accounts – if one account is compromised, you’ve given away the keys to all your financial affairs.
- Redirect your post for at least six months after you move house. Give your new address to any organisations who regularly contact you.
- Ask the Post Office to investigate if important mail does not arrive. It could have been intercepted or redirected. If you have a shared letterbox or communal hallway where post could be taken, ask for secure, individual facilities.
- Keep hackers and viruses out of your computer. Install the latest security software on your computer and update these programs regularly. Only use secure websites for online shopping – look for the closed padlock symbol or https:// at the start of the address.
- Never reply to e-mails asking for information such as account numbers, passwords and PINs. Don’t click through to any website they direct you to. Check with the organisation the e-mail appears to come from, using an existing number or e-mail address, the phone book or a directory enquiries service. Never use the number given on the e-mail.
- Don’t give personal information to cold callers. This applies to the phone, the internet and face to face.
- Limit the information you share on social networks. Be especially careful of giving details such as dates of birth or children’s names that you may use as PINs or passwords.
- Check your credit report regularly. It lists your credit accounts, recent applications and your repayment history. If you see anything you don’t recognise, contact the relevant lender immediately.
- Go through your bank, card and other statements carefully. Look for unfamiliar transactions that could indicate identity fraud.
- Investigate unexpected credit refusals. Your credit rating could have been ruined by a criminal borrowing money in your name and running up debts.
- Always tell the police and any organisations that might be affected if you suffer a theft of potentially sensitive items. For example, let your card issuer know if you’ve lost a credit card.