If you haven’t stopped and thought about how you keep your private information secure, chances are you could be leaving it wide open for scammers to steal. When scammers get your details, they can use them for all sorts of identity crime such as making unauthorised purchases on your credit card, or using your identity to open accounts such as banking, telephone or energy services, take out loans or carry out other illegal business under your name.
Having your identity stolen can be both financially and emotionally devastating. It can take months to reclaim your identity, and the impact of having it stolen can last for years.
The good news is there are ways to minimise the risk of identity theft. National Consumer Fraud Week 2015 is all about learning how to keep your personal data safe from scammers, and prevent identity theft from happening to you.
To leave scammers out in the cold, follow SCAMwatch’s Top 6 Protect Yourself tips:
- Keep your personal details secure
- Think twice about what you say and do in an online environment
- Keep your mobile devices and computers secure
- Choose your passwords carefully
- Beware of any request for your details or money
- Get a copy of your credit report
If you think your banking details have been compromised, you should contact your bank or credit union immediately to let them know. If you think your identity information has been stolen, you should contact iDcare – a free government-industry service which works with you to develop specific response plans to your situation to reduce risk and impact
Visit the SCAMwatch website to find out more about the various forms of identity theft, how to protect yourself and what to do if you’ve been scammed.
Whether you’re buying, selling, looking for a job or trying to find a new flatmate make sure you check out Gumtree’s top tips and safety guidelines. We’ve got plenty of hints and tips to help you have a safe and successful experience. Check out our Scam Security Centre for more information.
[Gumtree is a Partner of the Taskforce and urges you to protect yourself against scams.]