Identity Theft

Identity Theft is an increasing problem in the UK and you should ensure that you protect your businesses and your customers details. Even something as simple as some ones date of birth could be used usefully by an individual to commit identity theft. Other information that criminals might take includes; address, email address, previous addresses, mother’s maiden name, the place where you were born, pin number, bank account details, national insurance number and passwords.

Once someone else gets hold of your personal information, they are actually able to do a large amount of different things with the information.

The most common types of crime are ones which are considered to be financial fraud, such as credit card fraud, bank fraud, tax rebate fraud, benefit fraud and telecommunications fraud.

Identity thieves can also use your identity when they commit other crimes, such as entering (or exiting) a country illegally, trafficking drugs, smuggling other substances, committing cyber crimes, laundering money and much more. In fact, they can use your identity to commit almost any crime imaginable in your name.

Although none of the victim’s personal possessions may have been taken, there can actually be a number of large and serious consequences for victims. If a criminal has used another person’s identity to commit a crime, this can put the victim under police suspicion. The victim may find themselves being investigated as part of a criminal investigation, and in some cases they may find it difficult to prove their innocence.

People who are the victims of financial fraud can also have a lot of issues come their way. If a person uses your details in any form of monetary transaction, you could end up being saddled with debts. In most cases, if you can prove that the debts are not your responsibility, then you will not be liable for them, however it can also be very difficult to prove that you are not at fault. Even if you manage to absolve yourself of responsibility for the debts, removing incorrect information from your credit score can be even harder.

Methods of identity theft evolve rapidly as new mediums (such as social media) develop quickly, so it is almost impossible to completely prevent identity theft, however it is possible to reduce the likelihood of being a target by taking certain precautions. One of these is to completely destroy all documents containing your personal data, rather than just discarding them with the rest of your rubbish.

Failing to comply with destroying any sensitive documents could leave you in breach of The Data Protection Act 1998 and could mean fines of up to £500,000. Shredding UK Ltd are able to offer you various services to help you and your business. Call us for a free site visit so we can discuss your needs.