Identity fraud

When someone steals your personal details and uses them to commit fraud in your name it is known as 'identity fraud'.

What can fraudsters do with your identity details

  • Open bank accounts

  • Take out phone contracts, loans, credit cards and state benefits

  • Set up new online profiles in your name

  • Take over your existing accounts

  • Obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licences in your name

How safe is your information?

Identity fraud is more common now than you think, it's one of the fastest-growing crimes in UK.

See how just in the time it take to make a cup of coffee, someone could find out everything about you (such as your date of birth, where your live, whom you bank with etc.,).

This video was created by Cifas, the United Kingdom’s fraud prevention service. It highlights how easily potential fraudsters can access a wealth of personal information online.

So think carefully about how much you share, and how it could be used against you.

Protecting your identity

Protecting your identity starts with keeping your personal information safe.

Most of us understand the need to protect our sensitive data – such as passwords, credit card details and other financial information – but we also need to look after “everyday” personal information, like name, date of birth and address. At times, these details can be just as essential to fraudsters.

For example:

  • If someone gets hold of your card details to use them online to buy goods and services, they may also need to know your full name and address

  • If someone wants to take out a loan using your identity, they may need your date of birth and employment history.

So keeping your personal information safe is very important.

Quick tips to keep your personal details safe:

  • Don't give out your full personal details (such as your bank details, usernames or passwords) by email to us, or anyone else.

  • Don't respond to emails and phone calls without verifying they are genuine.

  • Don’t click on any links or open any attachments in emails or reply to text messages, unless you are sure they are genuine.

  • Limit the information you share/post on social media sites, use privacy settings to control who can see your profile and posts.

  • Check your statement(s) carefully. If anything is incorrect or suspicious with your statements for an account you've with us, let us know as soon as possible and we’ll look into it.

  • Safely keep or destroy documents with your personal or financial details on them by shredding, don't just throw them away.

  • If you move house, re-direct your letters to your new address for at least a year (contact Royal mail for information on their redirection service).

  • Get regular copies of your credit report from credit reference agencies such as Experian, Equifax or CallCredit.