Knowing the best method of data disposal is something that could save you from having your personal details stolen – or prevent you from becoming a victim of Identity Theft.
Facts about Identity Theft and Fraud
Identity fraud is one of the fastest growing types of fraud in the UK and is estimated to amount to £2.7 billion each year. Approximately 1.8 million people are affected. There are two types of criminal activity:
- Identity Theft – the theft of another person’s details without their consent or knowledge. Common details that are stolen include name, address, date of birth.
- Identity Fraud – the use of another person’s identity with the intention of buying goods or services. Common details that are used fraudulently include driving license, bank or financial details, credit cards, etc.
How Fraudsters Obtain Personal Details
It is very easy for criminals to obtain your personal details if the way you dispose of your data is not full-proof. Methods include:
- Obtaining your address details from discarded envelopes or address labels
- Extracting financial details from bank and credit card statements
- Using the details contained in pre-approved financial mailings (for example, for loans, credit cards, life assurance, etc.)
Criminals can use your personal details to:
- Take out loans or other financial products such hire-purchase or lease agreements
- Purchase products including cars and other luxury items
- Open new credit cards, debit cards or store cards
- Withdraw the money in your bank or building society
- Buy new mobile phones or take out contracts
Secure Data Disposal
Secure data disposal is the best way of preventing the fraudulent use of your details.
There are a number of steps you can take including:
- Shred all your paperwork using a secure shredding company such as Shredsec. Our shredding services cut your material into confetti-sized pieces.
- Make sure you do not throw away any mail or correspondence that carries your address details
- If you do need to keep copies of paperwork – such as bank statements or credit card print outs – ensure they are securely filed in a cabinet with a key that is secretly stored.