Look beyond the disguise. Impersonation can be the first step to someone stealing your assets
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is where someone steals your identity for financial gain. These imposters are masters of disguise and they’ll use a variety of tactics such as cold calling, intercepting your post, going through your rubbish, 'skimming' your credit card and hacking your computer.
Spotting and avoiding identity theft
You may not know you've been victim of identity theft until it’s too late - your credit rating is lower, missing money from your account or a purchase you didn’t make. Look out for the below.
Unexpected phone calls or emails
Don't trust unexpected emails or cold call phone calls which try to get you to reveal personal information or hand over money. Be suspicious and challenge.
Shred bank statements, utility bills, application forms and credit card receipts. This is the sensitive information which can be used against you.
Check your bank and credit card statements carefully
Look out for suspicious activity and flag anything out of the norm. Do the same for your credit rating too.
Protect hard copy information
File personal documents securely. If you move, get your post forwarded.
Be in control of your own information
Don’t give away personal information unless you’re certain who’s asking for it and why. Never be afraid to challenge what your information is needed for.
You can register for monthly credit score updates and searches that identify any searches or accounts opened that you don't recognise.
If you’ve spotted anything suspicious on your account, call Fidelity on 0800 358 7712. Alternatively contact your bank, credit card company and the local police on the non-emergency phone number 101. Here are some other useful contacts.
The UK's fraud prevention service
Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cyber crime
The UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights
Other threats to look out for
Suspicious emails and phone calls
Learn how to spot a fraudulent email or phone call, so you’re not reeled in.
Be wise. Don’t fall prey to too-good-to-be-true, high-pressure, deadline-driven offers.
All that glitters isn’t gold. Discover how to dig deeper and protect your pension with our tips.
Find out more about criminal influence, to ensure you’re in control of your financial purse strings.