Protect Your Identity: Online & Offline

This week is National Indentity Fraud Protection Week, a “nationwide effort to help in the battle against identity fraud”, and the official website has a load of tips to help both individuals and businesses avoid getting scammed by fraudsters, both online and offline.

For some more ID fraud prevention tips, take a look at MoneyMagpie’s Identity Fraud: How To Stay Safe Online, which goes into quite some detail of how these scams take place on social networks  (Facebook, Twitter etc) and spoof sites, and how to protect yourself from falling into the common traps.

MoneyWeek’s Protect Your Post From Fraudsters looks at ID fraud from a different angle, looking at how you can avoid having your identity stolen by fraudsters getting their hands on your post.

Here are a few general tips for avoiding ID theft, courtesy of Lloyds TSB:

  1. Keep credit and debit cards in sight at all times and watch anyone holding them for swiping.
  2. Be careful with phone numbers, birthdays, addresses and other personal information when using social networking sites like Facebook.
  3. Keep as little paperwork with your bank details as possible and shred before you throw away.
  4. Check all bank statements and your credit report regularly for unusual transactions.
  5. Make sure that nobody sees your PIN when entering it in a shop or at an ATM.
  6. Use different PINs and passwords for different accounts.
  7. Always be careful when companies contact you unexpectedly to ask for personal information.
  8. Protect your post. Don’t leave any lying around, and make sure the Royal Mail is informed immediately of any changes of address to redirect post.

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