Police force offering top tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud
Humberside Police is offering some common sense on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity fraud.
A spokesman said: “Your identity and personal information are valuable so it’s important to protect them.
“Criminals can use your personal details to open bank accounts and get credit cards, passports and driving licences in your name.
“Identity theft and identity fraud are two types of identity crime.
“Identity theft is when someone gains enough information about an identity (e.g, name, date of birth, address) to commit identity fraud (It is the misappropriation of the identity of another person without their knowledge or consent).
“Identity fraud occurs when a stolen identity is used to gain goods or services by deception e.g, open a bank account, gain benefits, order goods in your name, obtain genuine documents eg a driving licence in your name or apply for credit cards.”
Preventing Identity theft or fraud
○ Lost bank and credit cards – if lost or stolen, cancel them straight away and never give card details or personal information over the phone or on the internet when other people can see or hear.
○ If you are expecting a bank or credit card statement and it doesn’t arrive, tell your bank or credit card company.
○ If you move house consider asking Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
○ Get in the habit of checking your bank statements. If you spot any transactions you didn’t expect, contact the company concerned.
○ Destroy unwanted documents using a shredder. Don’t throw away bills, bank statements, receipts or unwanted post in your name without shredding it first.
○ Keep personal information somewhere safe such as a lockable drawer or cupboard.
○ Keep passwords safe and don’t store them anywhere that means they may be stolen such as your purse or on your mobile phone.
○Try not to use the same password for more than one account.
○ Never give personal or account details to anyone who contacts you unexpectedly even if they claim to be from your bank or the police. Tell the caller that you will ring back, but only do this on a phone number you trust (not one that they give you) and also try to do this on another phone or leave it at least five minutes before you make the call. This is important because criminals are able to keep the line open for two minutes after you put down the phone, which means you could end up inadvertently talking to the criminal or their accomplice again.
○ Remember a bank will never ask for your PIN or your whole password.
The spokesman added: “Fraud is a crime, so, if you think you’ve experienced it, we would encourage you to report it to Action Fraud , which is the UK’s national fraud reporting centre, either via the website (www.actionfraud.police.uk/) or by telephone on 0300 123 2040.