National News

Warning of increase in identity fraud – and how to combat it

The UK’s leading fraud prevention service, Cifas, is warning of record rises in the levels of identity fraud reported in the first six months of 2017.

Cifas says “a record 89,000 identity frauds were recorded, up 5 per cent from last year. 83 per cent of identity frauds were perpetrated online.”

Hampshire Constabulary reports around 500 cases to Cifas each month, mostly from businesses in Hampshire.

Read and follow this advice to protect yourself, your business colleagues and clients from identity fraud:

  1. Shred documents, don’t just bin.
  2. Be careful what you post on social media. Check privacy settings & never post your date of birth or full address. Be cautious.
  3. Check your bank statements regularly. Look for any suspicious transactions. If you find any then report to your bank immediately.
  4. Use a different complex password for each online account. 10+ mixed characters, or better still, use a passphrase only you will know.
  5. This is a must for online security – use anti-virus on all your devices & update whenever prompted to do so. Keep the bad guys out.
  6. Use credit reference agencies such as Experian or Equifax to monitor credit file for unexpected changes. If you see anything suspicious, report these concerns to your bank, police or Action Fraud.
  7. Never share your PINs or passwords with anyone, and don’t write them down. Use a secure password app or encrypt them.
  8. Getting rid of old computers? Destroy the hard drive – take a hammer to it – don’t just bin it.
  9. Do you know how to protect your business against identity fraud? Hampshire Constabulary can help. Get in touch to arrange a talk from one of their cyber protect specialists. Click here to visit their website for details of how to contact them.

For more information about how your business can report fraud, visit this page on the Action Fraud website: