What is identity theft?
Identity theft is when a fraudster steals your personal details and uses it for everything from opening a bank account, to applying for credit in your name.
So how do fraudsters get their hands on your information? Some go through your rubbish to find your personal details on bank statements and bills. Others trawl the internet, gathering pieces of your identity from websites like Facebook and LinkedIn.
As well as being stressful and time-consuming to sort out, identity theft can mean you face problems getting credit and with debt collectors. Plus, it can be difficult to find out how the theft happened. Many people never discover how their details were stolen.
Have I been scammed?
Getting bills, statements or letters sent to your home for accounts, goods or services you’ve not ordered could be a sign of identity theft. Likewise, if you’ve signed up to a credit reference agency and you’ve spotted new accounts you haven’t opened.
Or maybe you’ve noticed transactions you haven’t made or documents going missing, such as your driving licence or utility bills.
These are all signs you could have had your identity stolen.
Three tips to protect yourself