Credit cards can be a phemonenal personal finance tool, but if account information is lost or stolen, they can also cause endless frustration. PrivacyWise™ UK is a reference guide that helps you:
The most effective way to avoid identity crime is to develop the checks and balances that prevent criminals from obtaining your details. There are a number of ways to do (some of which are detailed below), but new guidance is issued regularly and it’s important to stay abreast of developments.
One of the first places to spot for signs of identity theft is the information contained in credit reports. This shows what products individuals currently have, or have applied for.
Ongoing credit report access can be costly (once the free trial period has ended), but everyone in the UK has a statutory right to their credit report for £2.00.
It’s very easy to simply put letters in the recycling bin with name, address and other personal details still visible without thinking, especially if it’s ‘junk mail’ we didn’t want in the first place. However, details from recycling are one of the principle ways that criminals source information, so it’s important to open every single letter and tear names, addresses and other personal details/account numbers off before putting them in the recycling. These personal details should then be destroyed and disposed of separately.
Methods used by criminals change regularly, but most are designed to illicit sensitive details from victims. Credit card issuers never ask customer to reveal sensitive data, like account numbers and pin codes. Emails purporting to be from banks should be treated with extreme caution. If in doubt, recipients should contact their bank directly – Not via a phone number provided within the suspect email.
Data gained from social media can be hugely valuable to criminals and fraudsters, and it can be obtained quickly without leaving a trace.
Ensuring security in a virtual world requires methods and approaches to be updated in line with new risks on an ongoing basis. The resources below help raise awareness of the most common techniques for online information gathering, but methods change regularly so it is wise to pay close attention to alerts about new scam carried by news organisations.