It can feel like almost everything you do online requires you to create usernames, passwords and give personal information about yourself. This is how companies keep you secure and ensure that they are dealing with you. This is exactly why this type of information is so valuable to fraudsters. Identity Theft is the concerted effort by a criminal to obtain enough personal and security information about you so as to fool genuine companies into believing they are dealing with their customer and not a criminal.
How can it happen?
Fraudsters can gain sensitive information about you in a variety of ways such as:
Phishing (email) – One of the most well known methods, fraudsters will send emails impersonating reputable retailers or even your bank. They will link you off to web pages which will ask you to input in depth personal information
Phishing (SMS or phone) – Slightly less known but increasingly popular in a digital age, phishing can also happen via SMS or phone calls. The fraudster will still look to gain sensitive information from you
Social Networks – How much personal information is available about you on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook etc)? It is not uncommon for users to make their date of birth and address public information. Always be mindful of the sensitive information that you make public via Social Media
Shoulder Surfing – As it sounds, a fraudster will simply watch over your shoulder as you input your security details – this could be login information for Internet Banking or even your PIN whilst paying for your shopping
WiFi Interception – Be wary when entering sensitive information via an unsecured WiFi network. If the network doesn’t ask for a password then it is publicly accessible to both genuine users and possibly, hackers.
Shared Computers – most online companies now offer a ‘remember me’ function to avoid having to manually input your usernames each time. Whilst this makes logging in much quicker and easier, never enable this function on a shared computer.
Theft – as simple as it may seem, one of the most common ways for fraudsters to obtain your security information is via theft of a wallet / handbag. Never keep your PIN with your card or write down any of your security details – if needed, these should be kept secure in your home at all times.
If you think you are a potential victim of fraud, please contact us as soon as possible.
Call: 03459 758 758
Textphone: 0345 835 3843
If you have received a suspicious email, please do not respond to it but forward it to
For more information on how to keep yourself secure online, you might find the following useful.