Identity theft, whereby an unauthorised person obtains access to your bank account or obtains credit cards or loans in your name, is a growing problem. It is very important that you carefully guard any personal information that might allow somebody to impersonate you.
- Keep important personal documents, plastic cards and cheque books in a safe and secure place. Keep cheque books and cards separately. Valuable documents include your passport, birth certificate, driving licence, debit/credit cards, card receipts, financial statements and utility bills. Without access to this information a criminal will find it very difficult to impersonate you
- Dispose of financial statements, card receipts and other personal documents with care. Rip up or preferably shred any such documents before putting them in a bin
- Check bank statements and receipts against your statements carefully. If you find an unfamiliar transaction, contact your card issuer or bank immediately
- Guard your cards. Don’t let them out of your sight when shopping. Report lost and stolen cards or suspected fraudulent use of your card account to your bank or building society immediately. Keep a note of your card issuer’s telephone number so that you can report lost or stolen cards as soon as you notice they are missing.
- Share personal information unless you are entirely confident that you know with whom you are dealing. Be particularly cautious if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from your bank or the police. When confirming security information, your bank would only ever ask for specific characters within your password and not your whole password. Ask callers for their phone number, check it and call them back. Also, be wary when responding to e-mails requesting information about you. If in doubt, ask for proof of identity or undertake your own checks.
- Disclose your card PIN (Personal Identification Number) to anyone.
- Be aware that your post is valuable information in the wrong hands. If you fail to receive a bank statement, card statement, utility bill or other financial information, be sure to contact the relevant bank or service provider to confirm that one was sent out
- If you receive a credit card application and you don’t use it, rip it up before disposing of it;
- If you change address make sure you contact your bank and all other organisations and provide them with details of your new address (the Post Office redirects post on request)
- Aim to only use your password and credit card number while using a secure connection on a website only and not via an email, which can be intercepted.
For further information and tips on how to protect your identity and personal information please visit SafeCard.ie
Download BPFI’s Fraud_Prevention_Guide