What can happen to my personal details?
Identity theft is a reality. Once a criminal has the information he needs he could for example:
· apply for a credit card in your name;
· open a bank or building society account in your name;
· apply for other financial services in your name;
· run up debts (e.g. use your credit/debit card details to make purchase) or obtain a loan in your name;
· apply for any benefits in your name (e.g. housing benefit, new tax credits, income support, job seeker’s allowance, child benefit);
· apply for a driving licence in your name;
· register a vehicle in your name;
· apply for a passport in your name; or
· apply for a mobile phone contract in your name.
The main concern with identity theft is that criminals could take your identity details and use it along with other information to build a new profile for themselves. With this they could be applying for new financial products in your name, which will go on to your records and destroy your credit history.
Yet as long as you take sensible precautions ourselves, the risks are limited.