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Once your personal information falls into the wrong hand, they can open bank accounts, obtain passports, apply for credit cards and other financial services, in your name. In most cases, the victim’s credit rating is ruined and can prevent you from applying for mortgages, loans and credit cards in the future.
How do fraudsters obtain your personal information? The main method they use is ‘Bin Raiding’ where they sift through the rubbish thrown away in your bins. Unfortunately, a lot of identity fraud victims don’t realise that their identity has been stolen till years later, when it’s too late!
As identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the UK, it is essential that you’re aware of the different ways that thieves can obtain your information:
- ‘Bin Raiding’, as mentioned before
- Stealing personal items from your home i.e. passports / driving licenses
- Stealing your mail, in particular bank statements and credit card details
- Hacking into your computer
- Redirected mail fraud- redirecting your post to another address.
Some scary stats about identity fraud:
* ID Fraud is the UK’s fastest growing white collar crime.
* ID Fraud costs the UK roughly £1.7billion each year.
* On average, it causes each victim over 300 hours of stress and anxiety trying to put their records straight after identity theft.
* 41% of PC users don’t have an active firewall in place.
It is vital that you are vigilant with protecting your personal details. One of the most simple yet effective method of doing this is to use a shredder to destroy junk mail or anything else that has your address and credit card information on. We offer shredders from brands such as Martin Yale, Intimus, HSM, Fellowes and many more. With the prices starting at £29.69, you can’t afford not to purchase one today!