Protect your identity

Fraudsters search online and can even go through your rubbish to find personal and banking details.

We explain how to avoid identity theft by keeping your details safe.


Identity (ID) theft

If fraudsters steal your identity, they could:

  • Take control of your bank account.
  • Spend or move your money.
  • Apply for loans and other finance in your name.
  • Use your account to move stolen money.

Do you know the warning signs of ID theft?

Warning signs of identity theft

Odd payments

Check what’s being paid in and out of your accounts.

If you spot anything odd, contact us right away and we can protect your money. 

Act fast if your identity is stolen. The sooner you take action, the less damage can be done.

Unexpected post

If things like credit cards arrive that you didn’t apply for, contact the company who sent the card immediately.

To re-direct your post or to get help if it’s stolen, contact Royal Mail.

Credit problems

Make sure you know everything in your credit history. If somebody steals your ID, you could be refused credit despite having a good credit score.

We offer a free credit check service so you can find out your score and any issues that you may have.

Calls about debt

Debt collectors or companies could call about money you owe, for things you didn’t buy.

How to protect your details

Who do you trust online?

Fraudsters create profiles, accounts and websites that look genuine to steal people’s details and to sell items. They also join online groups and communities.

If you’re not sure who someone is, think carefully before you chat, connect or buy anything from them.

Learn how to buy online safely

Share with care

Only share what people need to know about you.

Keep your personal and professional profiles separate. If you want to choose who can see your profile and posts, then set your personal accounts to private or friends only.

Do you know what friends, family and followers post about you online?

Make it hard for fraudsters to find anything useful, like your name, address and date of birth.

Social media platforms also have advice on how you can stay safe.

Are you too quick to click?

If you get an email, text, social media post or see an advert that wants you to click on a link or download an attachment, make sure it’s genuine first.

Hover your mouse cursor over the link, or tap it on a mobile device to show the full address. If it doesn’t match the sender’s name, it’s a scam.

You can also call the sender on a phone number you trust to check. But never use a number from a message.

Fraudsters use fake links or attachments to try to steal your details or to put a virus on your device.

Instead of clicking, it’s safer to type a link into your browser bar at the top of your screen.

Secure websites start with https:// with a closed padlock image next to it. But these do not mean a site is genuine, so do your own checks first. Try a free email, link or website checker online.

Other ways fraudsters steal and use your details

  • Search online for a free service, such as Have I Been Pwned to find out if your details have been stolen from a hacked website.

    If they’ve been stolen, change your passwords for the site and any security questions.

    And if you use the same passwords on any other sites, make sure you change them too.

  • Fraudsters create online quizzes and competitions to get your details so they can target you with a scam.

    Before you enter any details to take part, make sure you trust a quiz or competition. Be suspicious if it asks for sensitive information, like banking details or for you to sign in to your social media account.

    Set up a new email address to stop scam emails coming to your main account.

    And remember, only a fraudster would ask you to send money to get a prize.

  • Fraudsters want to steal your details to find out who you are and what you do. This helps them to target you with a scam. For example, if they get your personal or banking details they can:

    • Win your trust on a scam call.
    • Build a fake investment to tempt you.
    • Create an online dating profile that sets you up for a romance scam.

    Never throw anything that has your personal or banking details in the bin. Either file or destroy them.

    You can get things like bank and credit statements online. Find out how to go paper-free.

Help from other organisations

Register with CIFAS

Register with CIFAS to stop fraudsters from using your details to apply for products or services in your name.

Visit CIFAS website

Action Fraud

Contact Action Fraud to report a crime or to get general advice.

Go to Action Fraud

Learn about other scams and how to protect yourself

Learn about the latest scams

Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to try to steal your details and money. Discover which scams are common right now.

Go to latest scams

Have you been targeted by fraudsters?

Contact us right away if you think you've been scammed. We can then guide you on what to do next.

Contact us now

Stay scam safe

Learn how to spot and avoid scams, and how to report fraud.

Protect yourself from fraud

Stay scam safe

Learn how to spot and avoid scams, and how to report fraud.

Protect yourself from fraud