quick thought on tackling identity theft

Receiving bills for items you have not ordered, and letters from debt collectors for debts that are not yours- No, this is not a case of amnesia, but rather a serious situation of Identity Theft.

Identity Theft undoubtedly leads to Identity Fraud, which is not a harmless experience- A stolen identity means that a criminal can use personal details to open bank accounts, and get credit cards, passports, and driving licences in your name. Such Identity Crimes are committed due to the simple reason that they have easy access to you! Information about you can be found so effortlessly that it becomes almost as if you are inviting those fraudsters to get into action. Identity fraud has also been closely linked with human trafficking, illegal immigration, drug running, terrorism and money-laundering. In fact, a fraudster’s actions may not be discovered immediately, and sorting out the consequent problems can be a lengthy process.

If you do not want your personal finances jeopardised, or your chances to get loans, credit cards, or mortgages running a risk, you are advised to take the following precautionary measures:

  • Contact the issuing institutions for lost or stolen bank cards and driving licences straight away.
  • Never give card or password details over the phone or via the Internet.
  • Do not keep your account details or passwords where they might be easily stolen, such as your mobile phone or purse.
  • Change your mobile and computer passwords often, while avoiding the use of the same password on several accounts.
  • Beware of ‘shoulder surfing’ when you are filling a form in a public place, or entering your PIN number at ATMs and at checkout counters.
  • Avoid carrying cards unnecessarily, keep them safely rather than risking of losing them.
  • Check your bank statements regularly and contact the company concerned if you notice any unexpected transaction.
  • Always shred unwanted documents, such as bills, statements, receipts, or mails- rubbish bins are the ideal place for criminals to look for your information.
  • Lock your personal documents safely.
  • Be cautious whenever you hand your personal details to anyone; know who the person is, what details he is asking and why he needs the information.
  • Many at times, a person’s identity is compromised during a burglary. Ensuring all your windows and doors are properly secured will put any building owner’s mind at rest. If you are looking into investing into window and door security products, such as roller shutters, security grilles and gates, please speak to an RSG Security staff on 0208 123 1088.

Statistics for identity crime in UK is an estimated £2.7 billion per annum, and it is believed that 1.8 million people are affected by identity crime affects yearly. To avoid being one of those victims, take care of your Identity!