Identity Theft

Information Commissioner's Office:

Identity theft

Identity theftYour identity is one of your most valuable assets. However, criminals 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. If your identity is stolen, you can lose money and may find it difficult to get loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is sorted out.

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. These include:

  • You have lost or have important documents stolen, such as your passport or driving licence.
  • Post 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.

What can I do if I'm a victim of identity theft?

If you think you are a victim identity theft or fraud, act quickly to ensure you are not liable for any financial losses.

  • Report all lost or stolen documents, such as passports, driving licences, credit cards and cheque books to the organisation that issued them.
  • Inform your bank, building society and credit card company of any unusual transactions on your statement.
  • Request a copy of your credit file to check for any suspicious credit applications.
  • Report the theft of personal documents and suspicious credit applications to the police and ask for a crime reference number.
  • Contact CIFAS (the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service) to apply for protective registration. Once you have registered you should be aware that CIFAS members will carry out extra checks to see when anyone, including you, applies for a financial service, such as a loan, using your address.

CIFAS – The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service
Capital House
Bankhead Crossway South
EH11 4EP

You can also get more advice at:

ACPO - Fraud Prevention

Home Office

Bank Safe Online

e:mail scam advice:

Financial Ombudsman Service
Telephone: 0800 0 234567

CardWatch c/o APACS
Mercury House
Triton Court
14 Finsbury Square
London EC2A 1LQ

To report the theft or loss of post and other important documents:

Identity and Passport Service
Telephone: 0870 521 0410

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency
Telephone: 0870 240 0009

Royal Mail
Telephone: 08457 740 740