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How to Prevent Fraud and Identity Theft

This is when criminals seek to obtain information which personally identifies you and steal your identity to commit fraud.

All kinds of personal information can be of use to criminals including your name, address, national insurance number, credit card number or any other financial account information. These criminals work in several ways to achieve this:

Stealing items – They may steal your purse or wallet, mail, cheques or credit / debit cards.

Searching bins – To find bills or other papers with your personal details / information on it.

Card skimming – To steal credit or debit card numbers by using a special storage device when processing your card

False pretences – Obtaining your personal information by acting as someone they’re not.

Phishing –Pretending to be financial institutions or companies and send emails, spam or pop up messages to get you to reveal your personal information.

Diversion – Diverting your billing statements to another location or person by completing a change of name and / or address form

  • Take a few moments to check through transactions on your bank statements
  • If you’re not happy and spot anything unusual or suspicious contact the bank directly to establish fraud at an early stage. If you are expecting correspondence from your bank and it doesn’t arrive contact your bank immediately to inform them of your concerns
  • If you move house, tell your bank and credit card company immediately
  • Royal Mail offers a redirection service to help prevent identity fraud when you move house
  • Regularly get a copy of your personal credit file from a credit reference agency
  • Cancel any lost or stolen cards
  • If your passport or driving licence has been lost or stolen contact the organisation that issued it
  • Don’t use the same password for more than one account and never use banking passwords on other websites. Avoid using your mother’s maiden name or dates of birth as passwords.
  • Never give bank details to anyone unless you know and trust them…even then be cautious.
  • Don’t leave personal documents lying around – keep them in a safe place
  • Don’t put mail containing personal information out for recycling or in the wheelie bin with your normal rubbish – SHRED ANY PAPERWORK WITH PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION ON IT
  • If you are not filing personal documents then destroy them, including all household utility bills, bank statements and credit card bills.

More information:

Action Fraud –

Financial Fraud Action UK –