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The effort required to recover a stolen identity (in some cases up to 175 hours!) is a warning to us all to keep our identity where it belongs – firmly under wraps.
We’ve outlined 7 ways thieves can steal your identity, so please keep your eyes and ears open:
- Thieves will rummage through your rubbish, known as ‘dumpster diving’ in America, therefore shredding post/documents that contain any personal information is absolutely essential.
- Posing as a landlord, employer or someone who may have a legal right to your personal information. Never give out your details unless you’re absolutely certain who you are speaking to.
- Stealing mail, including bank and credit card statements, tax information etc. Again, shred, shred, shred!
- Stealing wallets or purses. Please remember to cancel credit/debit cards as soon as you know your purse/wallet has been stolen.
- Hacking into your computer. Where possible try and password protect your personal information stored on your computer
- Organising a ‘change of address’ form so your mail is diverted to another location. An obvious one this … if the only mail you seem to be receiving is flyers posted through your letterbox, get onto Royal mail quick!
- Stealing credit and debit card numbers as your transaction is being processed. This is a worrying one as the technique known as ‘skimming’ is usually done without your knowledge; the device used is attached to the cash machine so you may be completely unaware. In this case we’d always recommend checking the machine you’re about to use and if anything looks unusual then walk away.
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