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If someone gets enough personal information about you, they may be able to apply for a credit card or a loan in your name, or even steal from you. This is known as identity theft.
Your name, address and date of birth provide enough information to create another ‘you’. You make it easier for identity thieves when you make lots of information about yourself public.
Reduce the risk of falling victim to identity theft by:
• Thinking about what you throw away.
• Keeping your personal documents in a safe place.
• Shredding bills and statements.
• Letting organisations know when your personal details change.
If your identity is stolen, you can be left with outstanding bills and a bad credit rating. This makes it difficult to get loans, credit cards or a mortgage, and it can take a long time to sort out.
Be aware of the signs that something may be wrong:
• You can’t find important documents, or think they have been stolen.
• You don’t receive your bank statements or bills in the post.
• You notice unfamiliar items on your statements.
• You receive bills for things you haven’t asked for.
• You are refused credit cards or a loan, when you believe you have a good credit rating.
• You receive letters from solicitors or debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.
The following few pages will help you to protect your personal information and avoid identity fraud.
The items on this page are Used with permission of the ICO
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Copyright IOW Neighbourhood Watch 2016