Amthal Fire & Security is supporting Thames Valley Police in a new campaign to encourage people to protect their personal information from identity fraud.
The ‘Not with my Name’ campaign, launched in partnership with national Policing Lead for Fraud at the City of London Police, is targeting identity crime in communities.
According to crime prevention service Cifas’ own research, identity fraud accounted for 41 percent of all frauds recorded in 2014, a five per cent increase on 2013. It costs the UK more than £3.3bn a year according to the Annual Fraud Indicator 2013.
Identity fraud can lead to distress with victims spending on average of 200 hours of their personal or businesses time to resolve. Victims often find money has been removed from their bank or their account has been taken over, a fraudulent passport or driving licence has been created in their name, or loans, mortgages and mobile phone contracts have been set-up using their identity.
The proceeds of identity crime are often used to fund further criminal activity. To combat this rising threat the ‘Not With My Name’ campaign will highlight advice to help people protect their personal information. This will include pointers on creating safe passwords, protecting internet devices, dealing with unsolicited phone calls and emails, and safely storing and disposing of mail.
Says Jamie Allam, Commercial Director of Amthal: “It’s clear from cifas that incidents of identity theft and cyber-fraud are increasing in line with the overall growth in recorded frauds. Criminals are also becoming more sophisticated in their methods to succeed, so it is our duty to always stay one step ahead.
“It only takes simple measures to keep personal information safe and secure from identity fraud, including changing social media settings on a regular basis and creating safe passwords. We fully support the Police campaign and Amthal is absolutely committed to working together to share prevention tips and reduce opportunities for identity fraud across the region.”
Here’s some top tips from cifas on how to keep your identity safe:
- Treat your personal details as you would treat an expensive item: something to be looked after
- Limit the amount of personal information you give away on social media. Your real friends know where you live and know your birthday, so there's no reason to share it with strangers
- Update your computer's firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes. Up to 80% of cyber threats can be removed just by doing this
- Never share your passwords or PINs with others, and do not write them down.
- Use strong passwords and PINs. They need to be difficult to guess (so don't use your child's name or your date of birth) and include a mixture of upper and lower case letters, numerals and punctuation marks. Aim for a minimum of 10 characters in a password
- Don't use the same password or PIN for more than one account - that's like having just one key to open all your locks
- Shred all your financial documents before you throw them away. Personal details from letters, statements and so on are dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands.
- If someone asks for your personal details either online or on the phone, and you have doubts about why they need them, check first.
If you're in any doubt, don’t disclose. The new ‘Not With My Name’ campaign is being supported nationally by police forces and organisations including Action Fraud, Get Safe Online, Cifas, FFA UK, Age UK and Experian.
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