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Identity fraud: How to protect yourself

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Identity fraud is the deliberate use of someone else's identity (name, date of birth, address) to commit a financial crime by buying goods/service, pretending to be someone else, using their card/bank details.

How to protect yourself from identity fraud when using debit cards, credit cards or contactless payments:

  • Any documents with your name and/or address and/or bank account details and/or credit card details should not be thrown straight into the bin. These documents need to be shredded. This is because some people look through your bins, out on the street, before they are emptied, to take your documents and use your details.

  • Check your bank/credit card statements and report anything suspicious. Sometimes criminals start by taking out small amounts of money that could easily be missed unless your are checking your statements.

  • If you receive an email or a phone call keep in mind that a bank or credit card company will never asks for your PIN or password or account numbers. You should delete the email or end the phone call immediately.

  • If you are concerned about the source of a call, wait 5 minutes and call your back from a different telephone making sure there is a dialling tone.

  • Know when your bank or credit card statement is due in from the post and when it doesn't arrive, inform your service provider. If possible, set your account preferences to receive online statements.

  • Immediately report the loss of any payment method to the bank or credit provider. Do not keep your PIN close to your cards, like on a piece of paper in your purse or wallet where the cards would be as this makes it very easy for the thief to take your money from your accounts.

  • When paying for something in a shop/restaurant make sure that the assistant take your card to the paying machine. Do not hand your card to the shop assistant in case they intended to copy the card or take money out of your account without you looking.

  • If you move house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post so that your details are posted straight to your new house.

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