According to CIFAS, a charity that focuses on preventing financial crime more and more people are being affected by identity fraud

According to their research, the majority of identity fraud cases happen when the criminal pretends to be the victim and buys products or takes out credit in their name.

There are many ways that these fraudsters can gain access to your identity. From stealing information from rubbish bins, hacking computers, obtaining data on the dark web and exploiting personal information on social media, fraudsters have all the necessary personal information they need to commit identity fraud.

This means that it is more important than ever to protect your personal data. Cifas advise that you should shred any important documents rather than throw them away, use strong passwords and have anti-virus software installed on their computers.

Here are 5 top tips to protect yourself from identity theft or fraud:

1. Shred your sensitive documents – Don’t throw them away
2. Avoid posting sensitive information on social media
3. Strengthen your passwords, or better yet use a password manager app like Dashlane
4. Check your credit reports and bank statements for any unusual activity
5. Be wary of unsolicited emails. They may contain viruses or be phishing attacks

If you would like information on financial crime and identity theft take a look at Cifas website, https://www.cifas.org.uk/pr_for_individuals