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Identify theft

Identity theft affects lots of people and can have devastating impacts on its victims.

Criminals are able to open new accounts, claim benefits and apply for official documents using only a few details. These accounts are then opened in your name and can be traced back to you.

The warning signs are:

  • 'lost' mail, this may be that your statements or bills suddenly stop arriving
  • your rubbish bags have been tampered with
  • you start getting bills you don't know about
  • strange Direct Debits or payments appear on your account.

How to protect yourself:

  • shred all sensitive information. Never throw it away or recycle it.
  • delete suspicious emails that are ask for personal information. Remember we'll never ask for that by email
  • think twice before giving out personal information
  • if you move house, redirect your mail
  • use online bank statements instead of printed or posted ones

What you should do if you think you might be a victim

  • If you think any of your account or personal information has been stolen, cancel your card or freeze your account straight away.
  • If you are not receiving mail, contact the company to let them know. You should also contact Royal Mail to make sure that a mail redirection has not been placed.
  • If you see a transaction on your statement that you don't recognise, call us on 0800 092 3300.
  • If you've been a victim of identity theft, get a copy of your credit file. This will allow you to check if anything has been applied for in your name. Look for new accounts and for credit searches that you didn't authorise. This can suggest there's been an attempt to impersonate you. Remember, it's the data holder's responsibility to make sure that all data held is correct. Any credit searches not authorised by you will need to be deleted from your credit file.