What is Identity Fraud?
There are basically two types of identity fraud ‘impersonation’ and ‘false identity’. Impersonation is the compromise and use of another person’s identity attributes – such as their name, address and date of birth. It often involves using stolen or forged ‘proofs’ of identity – such as stolen passports, driving licences, bank statements, utility bills etc. The catch-all phase ‘identity fraud’ overlaps with all of the different fraud types involving the use of another person’s identity – whether it be making new applications for credit, fraudulently taking over another person’s account or compromising their credit card details. False identity is where a fraudster makes up a new name and date of birth, pretending that a new identity is real.
How Does it Happen?
- Bin Raiding - The theft of documents, containing personal information from your rubbish.
- Forgery - The use of false documents to help a fraudster corroborate their false or copied identity.
- Account Takeover - The criminal contacts the victim’s bank or card issuer stating they have moved address, then uses these new details to order new cards or request the movement of funds between accounts.
- Old Address Impersonation - Fraudsters pretend you have moved out of the address you are currently living in and have moved to a new address from where they make new applications for financial facilities.
- Current Address Impersonation - Fraudsters intercept or redirect your mail from your current address.
Steps to Prevent Identity Fraud
- Obtain a copy of your credit report regularly and check your bank and creditcard statements carefully. Report any unfamiliar transactions to your bank or card company immediately. Banking online can help you easily keep track of transactions occurring on your account.
- Don’t carry around your passport, birth certificate, household bills or any other personal information with you except when absolutely necessary. Always keep your personal documents in a safe place, preferably under lock and key.
- Crooks who scavenge through our rubbish for any discarded documents like utility bills or bank statements. Always completely destroy personal information before throwing it away, preferably by using a document shredder (you can buy inexpensive shredders from most stationery shops).
- Be careful about disclosing personal or financial information to people who cold call you, even if they claim to be from your bank, your credit company or another official organisation and even if they have personal information about you. Phone the organisation back with the number you have for them, not the number the caller has given you.
- Look for the padlock symbol, set your browser to maximum security level and avoid giving card details just to register with a site. These can sometimes be bogus sites looking to gather personal information about you in order to apply for credit in your name. This is known as ‘phishing’. Be aware while entering your information in any website.
For further enquiries and clarifications, kindly contact the underlisted persons:
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