Identity theft is when your personal information is stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to carry out an act of fraud.
After a recent survey we have identified a high proportion of our users have concerns over identity theft and fraud, over the next few months we will be posting and providing you with advice on how you can prevent yourself from being a victim of identity theft and fraud.
What is Identity theft?
So first thing we need to look at is what is identity theft and how does this happen. Identity theft is a result of when fraudsters gain enough access to information about someone’s basic profile (including information such as their name, date of birth, current and previous addresses) this information is then used to commit fraud. Identity theft victims can be both alive and deceased.
If you become a victim of identity theft it often results in identity fraud that can have a direct impact on your personal credit file, this will have a impact on your ability to obtain loans, credit cards or even a mortgage. It’s important to note that this can be fixed but the process can often be costly and long winded.
What is Identity fraud?
Once fraudster have obtained your identity they will often commit acts of crime to obtain goods or services by deception.
Fraudsters can use your identity details to carry out the following:
- Obtain Credit Cards
- Take out Loans under your name
- Open bank accounts.
- Order goods in your name such as mobile phones.
- Clear out bank accounts.
- Obtain documents such as passports and driving licences.
- Obtain Government Benefits
It can take months to realize that you have been a victim of identity fraud, the tell tell signs could be receiving bills or invoices for things you have not ordered, or when you have calls from debt collectors that are not yours.
So you may be asking now: How do you protect yourself from identity theft and fraud?