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Identity theft is becoming more and more common. It's when someone steals your personal details and uses them to act fraudulently in your name. 

They can open new bank accounts, take out loans, apply for credit cards and order goods leaving you with the debt. They can also take over your personal bank accounts, order new cards and re-register for online banking so they can withdraw your cash.


Could this happen?

What if, in the time it takes to make a cup of coffee, someone could find out everything about you, including your date of birth, address, religion and who you bank with?

Look at what happened when Cifas, an organisation with over 25 years' experience in protecting companies from fraud and financial crime, showed unsuspecting coffee shop customers just how easy it is.

View video

Please note that the link will open the Cifas video on YouTube in a new window.

Stay safe - follow this advice

  • Be suspicious if anyone asks you to give them your personal details. If you get a phone call asking you for information, say you’ll call them back and then look up the number yourself. Make sure they've hung up and the line's clear before you use it so that you're not giving out personal information to the fraudster. Use a different phone if you can, or call a friend first.

  • Never write your full personal details or your account details in an email to us, or anyone else.

  • Check your statement(s) carefully. If you’ve opted for online statements, log in and check them regularly. If anything’s incorrect or suspicious, call us as soon as possible and we’ll look into it.

  • Lock down the security and privacy settings on any social media sites you use to limit what people can see about you.  

  • Keep your cards and any personal documents such as passport, driving licence, account passbook or statements safe If you no longer need them, destroy all documents with your personal details on them. If you can, invest in a paper shredder immediately.

More about identity fraud

You can find out more about how to protect yourself from identity fraud on these websites:

Cifas - the UK's fraud prevention service

Action Fraud - information from the Home Office