Published on October 1st, 2014 | by admin0
Fellowes Q&A for National Identity Fraud Prevention Month
What is National Identity Fraud Prevention Month and why do Fellowes support this campaign?
Today marks the start of National Identity Fraud Prevention Month. The National Identity Fraud Prevention Campaign is designed to raise awareness of the risk of identity fraud with both consumers and businesses. Fellowes is a partner in the campaign, alongside other interested parties such as credit reference organisations, police forces etc. 2014 will be the 10th year of the campaign, and Fellowes has been heavily involved since the original launch.
The campaign has grown and grown since it’s early days, and has had significant influence on increasing awareness of Identity Fraud and security providing helpful advice to businesses and consumers on how to prevent themselves becoming a victim. Fellowes is a proud partner in the National Identity Fraud Prevention Campaign 2014!
What Is ID Fraud?
Identity fraud is when criminals make use of a false identity to buy products or get services. It can involve forged documents and is a threat to both businesses and consumers. It can be in a physical format (such as forged passports, driving licences etc) as well as electronic (on-line identity fraud).
What are the most common types of ID fraud?
There are many different types of identity fraud, and as the criminal world evolves and grows in this area it’s difficult to say which is the most common. Identity fraud can involve the more obvious scenarios where (for example) credit card details may be used to build new identities to steal monies, but it can also include areas such as medical and insurance, driving licence, social security and even child identity. There are also many forms of business identity fraud and theft issues, which can involve HR details, sensitive accounting documents, product development information, and many other areas of business.
What are your top tips for individuals to keep their identity safe?
Keep your identity safe requires common sense and action, but is achievable with a few simple actions:
- Always keep sensitive documents in a secure environment with restricted access
- As soon as they are finished with, make sure documents are disposed of in a way that nobody else can use them. The best way for doing this is to shred them with a cross cut shredder.
- Never respond to emails asking for sensitive information such as passwords or log in details.
- Never give out sensitive information to phone callers or anyone else who you do not have absolute trust in.
- Be careful to limit the amount of personal information you place within social media websites, especially where there is unrestricted viewing
What should an individual do if they think their identity has been stolen?
If someone thinks they’ve had their identity stolen, then quick action is key:
- Always check bank, credit card and other statements, and if any transaction doesn’t look right, then immediately contact the organisation concerned and advise them of your suspicions
- Likewise if regular statements don’t arrive, again advise the organisations concerned and discuss your suspicions. Also do this if you start receiving correspondence about applications or accounts from organisations you don’t recognise.
- Once you’ve alerted the organisations involved, they should tell you whether to contact the police or not
- Always investigate any credit refusal as it may be a sign that your credit reference has been damaged.
What precautions can businesses take to keep their identity safe?
Precautions for business are similar to how you would act personally, such as:
- Make sure the business has a formal data protection policy, and that this is well publicised within the business
- Ensure regular reviews of security by bin raiding – i.e. check bins on a regular basis for confidential information that should be shredded
- Ensure that staff have an appropriate method for the disposal of the data, which is easily accessible. One way to do this to place cross cut shredders at key meeting points in the business.
Utilise the same diligence at work as you would at home with regard to passwords, usernames etc, and ensure staff who use computers have up to date anti-virus software