Your identity and personal information is one of your most valuable assets and are highly sought after by criminals.. If your identity is stolen, you can lose money and may find it difficult to get loans, credit cards or a mortgage.
Your name, address and date of birth provide enough information to create another ‘you’. An identity thief can use a number of methods to find out your personal information and will then use it to open bank accounts, take out credit cards and apply for state benefits in your name.
Identity theft will often result in fraud, affecting your personal financial circumstances, as well as costing government and financial services millions of dollars a year. If your identity is stolen, you may well have difficulty in obtaining loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is resolved.
What signs should I look out for?
There are a number of signs to look out for that may mean you are or may become a victim of identity theft:
- You have lost or have important documents stolen, such as your passport or driving licence.
- Mail from your bank or utility provider doesn’t arrive.
- Items that you don’t recognise appear on your bank or credit card statement.
- You apply for state benefits, but are told you are already claiming.
- You receive bills or receipts for goods or services you haven’t asked for.
- You are refused financial services, credit cards or a loan, despite having a good credit rating.
- You receive letters in your name from solicitors or debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.
If you think you are the target of identity theft read this article