Anti-fraud tips to protect your identity

Fraud

IDENTITY fraud is on the rise in the Brighton Beach policing area, warns police media officer, Captain Louise Le Roux.

She said residents should immediately report a stolen or misplaced identity document to the nearest police station.

“The person who picks it up or steals it could try to impersonate you and steal your good name. He or she could even steal goods and services by applying for credit in your name.”

She offered the following fraud prevention tips:

  • Always keep your ID, passport and driver’s license separate.
  • Before you disclose any personal information, find out how it will be used and if it will be kept confidential.
  • When you are requested to complete personal details on documents, ensure the company you are dealing with is legitimate.
  • Don‘t give out personal information on the phone.
  • Remove mail from your letterbox as soon as it has been delivered.
  • If you move to a new place of residence, change your address on your accounts without delay.
  • Don‘t use predictable passwords on your accounts, such as your date of birth or telephone number.
  • Carry only the amount of information you need in your handbag, briefcase, wallet or purse and guard your ID book or card and bank cards.
  • Keep items with personal information in a safe place.
  • Request a copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies every year. Make sure it is accurate and includes only those transactions you have authorised.
  • If possible, know how much money is available in your bank account on a day-to-day basis so that you can pick up any changes immediately. Use a SMS notifications system if possible.
  • Avoid doing banking transactions on a computer to which the public has access.
  • Only log into a direct hosting site and not via other links.
  • Don’t respond to SMS requests from an unknown number, asking you to forward your ID number or your banking details. Phone your banking institute to confirm authenticity of information requested.

 

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  AUTHOR
Erin Hanekom
Journalist

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