Identity theft is the act of stealing a person’s personal information and in its most common forms, involves criminals taking documents from your rubbish or by posing as a representative of a legitimate organisation. If your identity is stolen, you could well find it difficult to get a loan, apply for a credit card or be approved for a mortgage. The effect of identity theft on your credit rating can be disastrous and often, this is the first sign that you have actually been the subject of this type of fraud. Essentially, someone will be building up significant levels debt in your name that you know nothing about.
Here are ten top tips on how to avoid, or at least minimise, your risk of identity theft. Take a stand against criminals, intent on committing fraud in your name, by keeping your personal information secure.
- As all too often, people are only aware that they’ve been the victim of identity theft when they suffer the ill effects of a damaged credit rating, we recommend that you keep an eye on your credit report using a credit referencing agency.
- If other people have access to your mail where you live, be very careful that you are actually receiving everything that you should be. Consider arranging with your bank or credit card company to collect your new card, chequebook or other potentially valuable information from a local branch.
- We’d advise you to check whether anyone has set up a mail redirection order in your name but without your consent. Contact the Royal Mail Customer Enquiry Line on 08457 740 740 as soon as you have the slightest suspicion that your mail is being stolen.
- If you move house, be sure to inform your bank, credit card provider and any other organisations that send you sensitive information immediately. Also, ask Royal Mail to set up a redirect from your old address for at least one year.
- It’s also recommended that you consider the Mailing Preference Service in order to limit the amount of junk mail that you’re sent. The less material with your name and address on it the better really.
- Get Safe Online can provide valuable advice on staying safe when making purchases online and internet banking. Also, do remember that your computer can contain some potentially valuable and sensitive information so protect it and dispose of it properly when the time comes.
- Should you lose your cards or have them stolen from you, inform your provider and cancel them immediately. Try to carry a copy of the relevant phone numbers so can do this as quickly as possible.
- Be mindful of your surroundings when giving your card details or any other personal information over the phone, on the internet or even when a shop. Keep yourself safe and make sure other people can’t see or overhear any personal information.
- It’s wise to avoid carrying around your cards when they’re not necessary. This simply reduces the risk of losing them or having them stolen. Store them in a safe, secret spot when you aren’t carrying them.
- For any concerns surrounding the threat of identity theft, the impact it can have on your credit rating and the best means of repairing any damage, talk to an impartial debt specialist for tailored advice to suit your circumstances. Debtsolver advisors are highly experienced and will be able to recommend the most appropriate solution to help solve your financial difficulty in the fastest possible time, letting you enjoy your retirement, free of debt stress.Debt solution advice is free, so call now on 08000 434 336. You can also fill out any of the forms on the website or complete our debt management wizard to see if it’s right for you.