Fraudsters will try to get your ID and personal information so they can defraud you.

You need to be aware of how this is done and how to protect yourself against this.

Identity theft usually starts with your name and then there are blocks of information they seek, including:-

Name

Address

Email Address

Credit Card details

Debit Card details

Online Banking details, Paypal etc.

Online Retailer accounts

Date of Birth

Passport Number

Driving Licence Number

 

-          Full name and address and how long you’ve lived at your current home.

-          Email address, login and passwords, online security questions and answers

-          Credit card / debit card details – number, start date, end date, security code

-          Paypal and retailer accounts logins, password, security answers

-          Date of birth and/or passport number and/or driving licence number

Any of these sets of information allows the criminal to carry out fraud using your name and details.

Whatever the criminal starts with, they may seek further information to make their fraud easier to commit. They may call you claiming to be from the council or the authorities or your bank etc. and use the information they have to convince you of their authenticity and then gain more from you in the guise of confirming your ID etc.

Or they may send you phishing emails – seeking under various guises to get more details from you.

To access your Amazon account, the scammer just needs your login and password.

To access your online banking, they need your login and password and probably an extra piece of information such as date of birth or answers to security questions, depending on which bank you deal with.

To set-up a new bank account in your name they need proof of ID (passport or drivers licence being the most common) plus proof of address, date of birth etc.

You can see that different sets of information make different frauds possible.

Q.           What if a fraudster has your personal information?

A:            First, how did the thief get your personal information?  The fraudster may have purchased information from a data breach of an organisation you deal with or hacked the information from your online activities or sifted through the rubbish in your bin or skimmed your card details when you paid a restaurant bill etc.

If the fraudster skimmed your card details then they will lack the security number on the back but if you physically handed them the card (such as in a restaurant) then they could have that as well and hence be able to make online purchases.

Protect Yourself

Watch out for suspicious emails or phone calls that try to trick you into disclosing personal information, based on already having some information about you.

Banks and other reputable organisations will never contact you to ask for personal information.

Remain cautious.

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