What is identity theft?

Identity theft or identity fraud is when someone steals:

  • your name
  • your personal information
  • your financial information
  • any other information that is specific to you as an individual

Why do people commit identity theft?

Someone committing identity theft might use your financial information to make purchases in your name. It can take months to realise that fraud is taking place. It may take even longer to recover what they have taken.

Organised crime networks are know to use identity fraud to fund larger scams. Identity theft has been linked to human trafficking, money-laundering, terrorism and drugs.

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How can I avoid being a victim of identity theft?

Before giving out personal information ask yourself:

  • Who is asking for my details?
  • What details are they asking for?
  • Why do they need to know these details?
  • Have they verified who they say they are?
  • Would the person they claim to be request that information?
  • Have I shredded/destroyed any personal or financial information, including receipts?

If you have any suspicions, don’t give out your details until you’ve checked everything out. If you suspect anyone is committing identity fraud please complete our anonymous online form.