Identity fraud – what you should know

Not many people think there’s much chance of them getting caught up in identity fraud, but it’s a very real risk for everyone. Some identity thieves will focus on getting hold of your credit card number to take money; others will use one small piece of information about you to steal your whole identity.

And they do this using low-tech methods. More often than not it’s done through simple theft. They’ll take your wallet, your mail, and credit cards and then use the information within to steal.

Like we said, it’s a real risk for anyone and everyone, but if you arm yourself with some basic knowledge you can stay one step ahead of the game.

Lock everything up

Identity thieves are good. They can use one piece of information to gain access to everything else about you. That’s why it’s imperative that you lock all important documents up. National insurance card, birth certificate, passports – they should all be stored away safely.

Review your bank statements every week

Not only will this help you manage finances better, but it’ll help you catch out any unusual activity early on. If you see withdrawals you don’t remember making, or there’s online transactions you don’t recall you need to get on to your bank immediately. Cancelling the account is often the best way to go.

Check the ATM

Some identity thieves go as far as rigging ATM machines to work for them to get hold of your details. So try and take note of any differences in the card machine you’re using. Is there a feature you haven’t seen before? Does the card slot look different?

Run your hand across the top, just above the screen too. If you feel a little hole it could be the sign of a camera hole filming your pin number.

Stay alert at the checkout

If a salesperson takes your card to conduct a transaction, keep your eye on them. If they turn away with your card in hand for a prolonged period of time then they could be up to no good. It doesn’t take long for them to scan your card into a skimming terminal to copy the data. 

The main thing here is to use your common sense. Don’t flaunt your card.

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