If criminals get hold of key information about you, they can impersonate you (steal your identity) and empty your accounts, run up bills in your name, take out loans under your name and you will be liable for the debts incurred unless you can prove it wasn’t you.
Here are some of the warning signs that your identity has been compromised:-
- You notice unauthorised transactions on your bank statement. Contact the bank immediately to question the transactions.
- You are refused credit or your bank card is refused. Once a criminal has got hold of your personal data, they will try to take out more credit cards in your name and run up big bills.
- Unexpected change in your credit report. It’s wise to check your credit report occasionally using an agency such as Experian, Equifax or CallCredit. If you find an unexpected change, this could be a warning as it may mean that criminals have taken out credit in your name.
- Unexpected call charges appear on your mobile phone bill. This could mean someone has taken over your account.
- You receive delivery of high end items such as a laptop computer or expensive mobile phone. This can happen where a criminal has bought something in your name, intending to intercept the delivery. Check with the sender who placed the order.
- You get unexpected emails such as confirmation of password change, confirmation of a new account having been setup, password change request, login details for sites you don’t know, registration details using your name that you haven’t applied for.
- You are contacted by a debt collector or bailiff looking to recover a debt in your name. Do not ignore this as being simply a mistake.
If you suspect you have been attacked by identity thieves, you need to take action right away.
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