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Identity Theft...What to do?


Step by step

  1. Report all lost or stolen documents, such as passports, driving licences, credit cards and cheque books to the organisation that issued them.

  2. Inform your bank, building society and credit card company of any unusual transactions on your statement.

  3. Contact your bank and lender and tell them that you’ve become a victim of identity theft

  4. Request a copy of your credit file to check for any suspicious credit applications.

  5. Report the theft of personal documents and suspicious credit applications to the police and ask for a crime reference number.

  6. Report your identity theft to Action Fraud https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ - the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre – they’ll advise on the steps you need to take and any other organisations you should contact.

  7. Contact CIFAS https://www.cifas.org.uk/ - the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service) to apply for protective registration. Once you have registered you should be aware that CIFAS members will carry out extra checks to see when anyone, including you, applies for a financial service, such as a loan, using your address.

  8. Contact any business that has taken funds from your account that you do not recognise, ask them to not take any further payments and mark the account that used your information as fraudulent

  9. When you receive your bank cards always sign up to either:

  10. MasterCard SecureCode (https://www.mastercard.co.uk/en-gb/consumers/features-benefits/securecode.html)

  11. Verified by Visa (https://www.visa.co.uk/run-your-business/small-business-tools/payment-technology/verified-by-visa.html)

  12. In most cases you should not be required to pay the debt unless the company/financial institution can prove that you were negligent.

How to prevent Identity Theft?

Be extremely wary of unsolicited phone calls, letters or emails from your bank or other financial institution asking you to confirm your:

  • personal details

  • passwords

  • security numbers

Regularly check your bank accounts and chase up any statements that you don’t get when you expect them.

Dispose of anything containing your personal or banking details by using a cross-cut shredder or tearing into small pieces.

Always keep valuable documents (driving licence, passport, bank statements) in a safe place (locked drawer for example)

Shred all financial documents before binning them.

Remember to notify service providers of your new address when you move home:

  • Phone operator

  • Water services

  • Council

  • Relevant financial organisations

  • Put a postal re-direct on for 12 months

Use different passwords for different sites. When there is a leak of personal data by any organisations, your other accounts might be in danger. Try password managers like LastPass (which is free).