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Identity Fraud (part 3)

Protect yourself from identity fraud:

  • Set your privacy settings across all the social media channels you use. And just think twice before you share details – in particular your full date of birth, your address, contacts details – all this information can be useful to fraudsters!
  • Password protect your devices. Keep your passwords complex by picking three random words, such as roverducklemon and add or split them with symbols, numbers and capitals:R0v3rDuckLemon!. Never ever store passwords on devices.
  • Install anti-virus software on your laptop and any other personal devices and then keep it up to date. MoneySavingExpert have a recommended list of the best free anti-virus software:
  • Take care on public wi-fi – fraudsters hack them or mimic them. If you’re using one, avoid accessing sensitive apps such as mobile banking.
  • Download updates to your software when your device prompts you – they often add enhanced security features.

What to do if you're a victim:

  • ACT FAST if you think you have been a victim of identity fraud
  • If you receive any mail that seems suspicious or implies you have an account with the sender when you don’t, do not ignore it.
  • Get a copy of your credit report as it is one of the first places you can spot if someone is misusing your personal information – before you suffer financial loss. Review every entry on your credit report and if you see an account or even a credit search from a company that you do not recognise, notify the credit reference agency. They all offer a free service to victims of fraud
  • Individuals or businesses who have fallen victim to identity fraud should report to Action Fraud.
  • If you have information about those committing identity crime please tell independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously online or call on 0800 555 111.
  • If you have been a victim of fraud, you can contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice and support. Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. 

And finally it really isn’t just members of the public that need to be mindful of the threat, the survey also reveals that 52% of people wouldn’t be willing to share their personal details with organisations that have lost customer data. The fight against fraud is a collaborative effort. This finding should serve as a wake-up call to any organisation that handles personal data. The consequences of not taking data security seriously can directly impact an organisation’s bottom-line as well its reputation and of course the risk of prosecution.