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Talk to Fellowes about personal identity fraud and you could win an Arcadia group voucher worth £200 NOW CLOSED

(127 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 23-Sep-13 15:20:53

As part of National Identity Fraud Protection Month, Fellowes have asked us to talk to Mumsnetters about personal identity fraud protection.

Here's what Fellowes have to say: "Identity Theft is becoming an increasing threat to the whole family. It only takes one piece of personal information for a fraudster to build a bigger picture of you and use an identity to commit crime. And it’s not just hackers and cyber criminals targeting British households with scams requesting paper-based information sent through the post still a prevalent issue. The effects of personal identity fraud can be devastating: from racking up credit in someone’s name, financial loss to time taken to resolve the situation".

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information? Maybe you keep all your documents in a safe? Or shred them as soon as you've finished with them?

More recently, it has become even more important to protect yourself online too. Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails? Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media?

Have you or anyone you know ever had any experiences with personal identity fraud?

Everyone who adds their comments on this thread will be entered into a prize draw where one MNer can win a £200 Arcadia group voucher. Eight runners-up will also receive a Fellowes 63Cb Cross-Cut shredder worth £135.

Please note your comments may be included on Fellowes' social media channels (including @STOP_IDFRAUDUK), and possibly elsewhere, so please only post if you're comfortable with this.

If you've been affected by personal identity fraud and are interested in being a case study for use in the media please add your details here. If you sign up, your details may be passed onto Fellowes for them to contact you. Please only sign up if you're happy for us to do this.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw,


gazzalw Mon 23-Sep-13 17:35:26

This has reared its ugly head because a friend of ours had her bag stolen after she'd come thro' passport control at Heathrow. She has non-English nationality although married to someone British. All her documents and the two passports (one being British) of her DC were stolen. She is currently trying to find out if her elderly father in her home country has copies of all of her documentation because she certainly doesn't over here....It's proving a nightmare and at the moment she's going round in circles...

Yes to shredding anything/everything which contains personal information although DW is a lot more fastidious than I am.

We have had quite a few 'phishing' emails including the ones purportedly from HMRC. I particularly love the bank ones that aren't even from one's own bank but can quite easily see how you could fall into the trap. I don't think I've ever reported anything to ActionFraud which is probably remiss of me...

DW is meticulous about such things but about ten years ago someone managed to get hold of her card details (we think from a cashpoint machine at at station) and emptied our joint account in 24 hours... Since then she's always incredibly careful to go into banks to use cashpoints and always covers her card/the pad as she types in pin-number.

I really don't think you can ever be too careful - it always amazes me how many people sit on the bus on their phones giving out loads of personal details about themselves - including bank card numbers sometimes! hmm...

littlemonkeychops Mon 23-Sep-13 18:42:41

I don't know anyone who has been a victim of identity fraud but it is a scary thought, a bit like being burgled, really invasive.

We shred everything paper based and are careful with card details etc. I do get lots of phishing emails but they're easy to spot so don't worry me. I do worry sometimes about online banking and how secure that is, buf i can't imagine going back to banking only by phone/in branch. I'm not on any social media so that isn't an issue for me.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 23-Sep-13 20:30:32

I don't think I'm nearly as careful as I should be. I will treat this discussion as a reminder and be a lot more careful with my paperwork.

givemeaboost Mon 23-Sep-13 22:14:31

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information? Maybe you keep all your documents in a safe? Or shred them as soon as you've finished with them?

I keep all important docs in a locked filing cabinet and when no longer needed I shred with a fine shredder.

More recently, it has become even more important to protect yourself online too. Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails? Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media?

I always get phishing emails, probably average about 3 a week, they get immediately deleted and as I don't have my email/phone number/address online anywhere incl facebook, Im not unduly worried.

Have you or anyone you know ever had any experiences with personal identity fraud?
No one I know has had any but cases I see on tv/in the paper remind me not to get complacent.
I lost my NI card and expired passport in the past and although it worries me Im guessing I would have had some sort of trouble by now had it been used by someone else?!

Dylanlovesbaez Tue 24-Sep-13 07:40:04

My partner was a victim of identity fraud and it affects our lives almost 5 years later. We never got to the bottom of it, we didn't feel that we were helped at all and his credit rating was buggered.
We shred everything in sight and always have. We change our addresses quickly so nothing goes to old addresses and we check our statements regularly.

dahville Tue 24-Sep-13 10:36:14

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information?

We shred paper based items with personal or account information.

Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails? Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media?

I've had loads of phishing e-mails but they are generally caught by the spam filter.

I try not to reveal too much on-line but recently was caught out by Bounty not being careful with personal information for a competition they were running - they exposed several bits of information about several different entrants in a competition and then they balmed the people who entered the competition!

Bubbles85 Tue 24-Sep-13 13:13:08

We shred all paperwork with personal details when we have finished with it. We also keep really important documents in a safe.

However, I must admit that I am not as careful as I should be online. I love to enter competitions and go ahead and enter my details that I protect so carefully at home on websites here, there and everywhere!

petalsandstars Tue 24-Sep-13 16:40:14

I shred everything with personal information on as I've seen others become victims, and heard the stories of people going through bins to find information, as well as seeing this in action on the tv show "the real hustle" assuming that was not staged.

I worry about online hackers and spyware but the ease of using online shopping etc means I put it to the back of my mind and hope that the websites have security features in place.

I am wary of things online asking for details like your first pets name and mothers maiden name to make up your popstar name etc as these details could be used as security information.

ffluffy Tue 24-Sep-13 17:15:21

I've very recently been getting phone calls saying they have my name and phone number and just need my email address and postal address so I can be entered into competitions. This scared me a bit since I never enter competitions with just my phone number. They were very aggressive saying "how do we have your number if you never entered the competition?".
I also caught some men going through our paper recycling. Since then, I've been so careful about shredding anything with any details about me or my work.

headlesslambrini Tue 24-Sep-13 17:22:58

This is something that I do worry about. I shred papers when I have a stack of them rather than as I go along. The thing is though that I don't fully understand all of this so how can I warn my children for when they get older. I try to buy online only with my credit card as this supposedly gives me extra protection, but I don't really know this to be sure and it can then be really difficult to budget afterwards so the credit card balance just seams to go up.

I've switched as much as I can to paperless billing. Less to have in the house.

Anything that needs to be kept is in a box upstairs. Anything that comes into this house with a name or address on it is shredded and I only use cross cut shredders. The harder I make it for anyone to get my details, the better.

I don't get that many phishing emails. I'm automatically suspicious of anything that says 'click here'. Anything that comes from my bank/credit card says 'DO NOT REPLY' and 'DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS IN ANY EMAILS' in bold red letters every single time.

Tee2072 Tue 24-Sep-13 17:35:31

I have a strong SPAM filter so I rarely get any SPAM, not just phising emails.

I shred pretty much everything that might have anything identifying on it.

Online I'm not as careful. Well, I don't publish my PIN or bank details online, obviously, but I'm pretty open as to who I am.

Interestingly, though, I'm very hard to find on Google.

MadMonkeys Tue 24-Sep-13 21:28:03

The compost bin is a great way of obliterating personal data from paper waste!

CheeryCherry Wed 25-Sep-13 09:18:13

We haven't got a shredder (would like one!) So I tear up any personal mail before it goes into recycling. I also use it for the fire and occasionally put it in the compost.
I could use shreddings for bedding in the hen coop! Otherwise we just keep bank stuff in files either at work or at home.
My spam filtering is good and hides away any phishing, I have seen bank ones 'your security is at risk' etc, but just delete them all regularly.

mrsmika Wed 25-Sep-13 09:42:02

I, fortunately, haven't been a victim of identity fraud nor know anyone who has. However it does worry me a great deal. I shred anything that could possibly be linked to my household and failing that, use marker pen over the name and address until it is no longer visible.
I don't open any emails where I don't know the sender and have good protection software on the PC. I don't let it remember any passwords or login details, and log off my area after use. I only use my pc or smartphone/tablet and don't let anyone else use them either. Reading that back I sound really over the top, but I'd rather that then be on the receiving end of identity fraud.

Collaborate Wed 25-Sep-13 11:28:09

It never ceases to amaze me how banks and other financial institutions ring me up and ask me for my passwords. I'm sure some people must give passwords out to strangers who cold call them claiming to be from a bank, and it's so, so risky. Why oh why do they keep on doing this?

BTW I never reveal details about me unless the caller can verify who they are, and they are unwilling to do that because they say they don't know for sure who I am. No shit, Sherlock!

My father in law had his card cloned. Luckily the card company knew his location and spending habits and managed to block any attempts to spend on it. His details were stolen by an assistant at a well known store who kept a record of his pin.

RubySparks Wed 25-Sep-13 16:43:46

Yes get phishing emails, they are pretty obvious both from writing style and usually not being a bank I have an account with! Also just had an email with just a link in it from a friend/work colleague, but no subject in the email, just seemed suspicious so checked with him and he didn't send it, when he checked his email there were lots of messages like this sent to his address book.

Husband also had bank card cloned, found out it was a machine at local garage as others had also been cloned. The card was used in Australia (we are in UK) to withdraw a couple of small sums then a larger amount. The bank reimbursed us and we don't go to that garage....

Tyranasaurus Wed 25-Sep-13 18:34:31

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information? Maybe you keep all your documents in a safe? Or shred them as soon as you've finished with them?

I'm not overly zealous- I have hard to crack passwords and tear up any bank letters etc before binning

More recently, it has become even more important to protect yourself online too. Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails? Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media?

I've had phishing emails but it's always pretty obvious ehat they are. I don't give a lot of personal info out on social media but that is more for privacy than paranoia

Have you or anyone you know ever had any experiences with personal identity fraud?

Not to my knowledge

Lifeisontheup Wed 25-Sep-13 18:40:58

I shred personal documents and am careful on FB etc. I was cloned by someone buying two phones and contracts from O2 with whom I don't have an account. O2 were seemingly unconcerned and very rude. I only found out when I opened what I thought was junk mail. I now open all junk mail and then shred.

I reported it, and O2's response to Action fraud.

gobbin Wed 25-Sep-13 19:00:48

About a year after we moved house in 1998 we had letters from three catalogue companies including Next saying that we owed money - about £750 in total - two debts in my name and one in my husband's.

A woman who'd moved into our old house had fraudulently ordered clothing from the spam-mail catalogues that had come through the door with our name on. She then failed to pay for the goods.

Two companies realised quickly that fraud had been committed once we sent proof of our house move the year before. Next wouldn't accept this, however, and it took many months to sort. I had to threaten to get a solicitor involved in order to make them back off. I'd never shopped with Next either by catalogue or in store - it took years before I could bring myself to visit one of their stores after the 'guilty until proven innocent' treatment at their hands.

skyeskyeskye Wed 25-Sep-13 21:01:01

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information? Maybe you keep all your documents in a safe? Or shred them as soon as you've finished with them?

All documents are kept in a filing cabinet, but it doesn't have a lock. I do shred everything once it is finished with. My friend uses it for horse bedding smile

More recently, it has become even more important to protect yourself online too. Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails? Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media?

I get phishing emails all the time. It is just common sense not to open them. Any sensible person should realise that your bank would never send this to you as they plaster it all over their website.

I try not to put anything on social media but because I have a business I have a website and a facebook business page, so my phone numbers, address, email etc is all out there in cyberspace

Have you or anyone you know ever had any experiences with personal identity fraud?

I have had my credit card used to buy concert tickets. It happened after I went to London. The only place I used my credit card was Madam Tussauds. When I got my next statement there were tickets for V festival, cinema, and other concerts on there. I involved the police and the money was refunded by the credit card company as the tickets were not sent to my address.

Also, I have received Orange mobile bills addressed to somebody else at this address. Four contracts in a week. Orange blocked them all and noted that my address was nothing to do with them

lborolass Wed 25-Sep-13 21:24:27

I don't worry too much about identity fraud.

I keep all bank statements etc filed together so someone who broke into my house could steal those but I don't write down any passwords.

I don't know anyone personally who has been affected by identity fraud although many years ago I did have a problem with a credit card fraudster but the information was stolen by someone connected in some way to the credit card issuer and was stopped as soon as it was discovered.

My biggest concern is giving card details over the phone to pay for something as the operator could just write down everything including the 3 digit security code and use or sell them.

I get a few phishing emails but always so obvious that I've never thought for a moment they were real. I have on occasion forwarded them to the bank concerned and always report as a phising email to my email provider.

I give out the minimum info on line and have just googled both my landline and mobile numbers and got no results other than the lists of sequential phone number sites (what are these for I wonder)

manfalou Wed 25-Sep-13 21:27:35

We don't currently have a shredder (it broke) but always tear off any names, addresses etc on letters we receive, the torn up paper then goes into the main bin and the rest of the letter into the recycle. Anything that has ALOT of personal information on goes onto our 'until we get a shredder to shred' pile.. which is very large... as we don't want to take the risk.

I enter lots of competitions online so less careful but only the ones on legit websites. No social media has my number, address etc. I was self employed for 2 years but had a business mobile number so not to use my personal one.

Not worried about phishing as they're pretty obvious to spot...I tend to get a lot from the supposedly HMRC and Paypal.

Thankfully don't know anyone who's been a victim of identify fraud but it scares the life out of me when I can't find my debit card. Ive cancelled it about 4 times because I couldn't find it within 5 minutes of looking for it. Its always been in the house somewhere but the thought that someone else could have it terrifies me.

mrscog Thu 26-Sep-13 08:01:27

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information? Maybe you keep all your documents in a safe? Or shred them as soon as you've finished with them?

We shred anything (and then burn the chippings* which has an address or more on it. I also opt for paperless services as much as possible so I have less paper to get rid of.

Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails? Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media? Yes I've received loads of phishing emails over the years, I tend to report them using the 'report as phishing scam' and then delete. I keep my Facebook quite locked down to just friends and family, but even then I don't publicise things like who I bank with or when I'm off on holiday. I am more open with other social media (Twitter and Pinterest) but I am much more cagey with what I post there.

Have you or anyone you know ever had any experiences with personal identity fraud? Yes DH and I both were victims of credit card fraud a few years back. It turned out that the garage where we most regularly bought our petrol from was part of a dodgy racket. It wasn't really an issue though - the bank flagged it straight away and sent new cards out etc. It's the main reason we use a credit card for nearly all spending, you do get more help if you're the victim of fraud.

whattodoo Thu 26-Sep-13 08:06:38

I'm not as careful as I should be.
I shred, but not fastidiously. Nothing is locked away - if we were burgled we'd be very vulnerable.
And, probably worst of all, most of my online passwords are the same.
Reading some of these posts has shocked me. I'll be talking to DP tonight about tightening up our processes.

hermioneweasley Thu 26-Sep-13 08:06:57

We dispose of personal documentation by shredding, though I understand that bin raiding has stopped and frauds terms have moved online.

I have ID theft insurance.

I have received phishing emails - they are scarily good and I can absolutely see how people get taken in. I always send them on to the comoany's fraud team.

I haven't had my identity compromised but have had my card cloned. My bank are a shower of shit for regular customer service, but their fraud team seem very sharp - spotted it in 2 transactions and were straight on the phone to me.

Fuzzysnout Thu 26-Sep-13 15:03:47

I shred anything paper based. Literally anything with my name or address inn will be shredded. I am very careful about what I publish on social media sites and restrict privacy settings as much as possible.

I am aware of phishing emails and try to delete and avoid passing on scams to unwitting friends.

We have spam filters set up but the odd phishing email does get through. I like to think I can spot anything like this but I worry that maybe older relatives may get caught out.
We also have a shredder and I am quite good at remembering to shred things but sometimes I can't be bothered and just rip stuff up. This has reminded me though that you can never be too careful.
I had my paypal account hacked once and that was horrible, fortunately paypal had sorted it before I even noticed anything was amiss but it could have been so much worse.

betterthanever Thu 26-Sep-13 20:10:42

Is there anywhere you can report someone to if you think they are using someone else's identity?

maxmissie Thu 26-Sep-13 21:29:16

I shred all personal info, e.g. card details, names, address, account numbers etc and then put it in our compost heap. However all our important documents are still in the house so whilst it would be difficult to find out stuff by going through our rubbish bins, it would be easy if we were burgled! I have scanned in all our important documents as well, e.g. passport, driving licences and emailed them to my work address, so if we lose them or they are stolen, we have copies to refer to when contacting the relevant agencies/organisations to get new ones.

The thing I find quite scary is giving card numbers over the phone as it would be all too easy for someone to jot all the details down.

Yes have had 'phishing' emails - most go into spam box but some do find their way into the inbox. Just delete, even ones that come from organisations I use, e.g. Paypal - I usually hover over the email address to see if it looks like it comes from a legitimate address and/or look up the email title on the internet to be sure it's an email I want to open.

I don't put personal info on social media sites and am fairly wary of putting anything on at all (e.g. photos, location, comments) as it just makes it easier for someone to identify you and use your information.

Don't know anyone who has experienced personal identity fraud - the closest I've come is someone using my credit card to buy items online or over the phone. The bank sorted it out very quickly to their credit.

poachedeggs Thu 26-Sep-13 21:44:02

I shred anything personal although not very frequently so it sits in the box too long. I keep important documents in a file. Not as secure as it could be.

I worry a lot about passwords - we have to have passwords for everything these days, so either you use different ones and write them down which isn't safe, or use the same ones and risk that they get identified.

I've had phishing emails but I just check the address of the sender which usually makes it clear. I try to report them if I remember.

I do use social media but set my privacy settings carefully.

Although anyone trying to defraud me would be sorry they'd bothered, I can't begin to imagine how much hassle it would be to sort out.

Hopezibah Thu 26-Sep-13 22:35:58

My father in law shreds EVERYTHING even stuff I wouldn't consider confidential - so it has made us think a bit more about it. We tend to tear any obviously confidential info before it is binned.

I try not to say where I will be at any given time on social media and I am only 'friends' on facebook with people I actually know in real life.

We never reply to those dodgy emails and never give always check for secure pages before inputting any info online.

nerysw Fri 27-Sep-13 10:02:23

I try and be careful and don't put paper with personal details in our recycling, ignore dodgy emails etc. All of my passwords are mixes of lower/upper case and numbers but I've still had my email and twitter account hacked. The Twitter one happened last night so a quick password change and my fingers are crossed that the only damage is some weird links sent to contacts.
It's a reminder that this digital world we live in may be great in some ways but you have to keep on top of your security.

Spirael Fri 27-Sep-13 16:15:05

Most statements are now sent electronically to an email account which has a unique password to other places I go to. Any paperwork we do receive is carefully filed until it's no longer needed, when either DH or myself take it into our works to put into the secure waste bins there.

I get a wide variety of spam emails, but the vast majority are caught and go straight into my junk folder. I believe I'm relatively savvy, any that do get through are quickly spotted and duly marked as junk to help improve the filters.

On the major social networking sites, I don't use my real details. Barely anything comes up if you Google me, which is the way I like it! DH does the same as me, and we'll be teaching our DC to be equally as careful.

Babycarmen Fri 27-Sep-13 16:50:06

A couple of years ago my email/ebay account got hacked which allowed them into my online banking. They set up an overdraft for £1000 on my account, transferred it out, then tried to take another £900. The first I knew was when I got a phone call from my bank about the 'unusual activity' on my account, luckily when I told them it definitely wasn't me, they got the money straight back to me. It is definitely something I am wary of now.

helcrai Fri 27-Sep-13 17:11:46

We keep all our bank statements separate to other paperwork and hidden in a drawer. I try to change all my passwords on accounts, credit cards etc frequently as although I haven't personally been a victim of identity fraud, both my brother-in-law and neighbour have had someone use their credit cards to buy online goods. For this reason I only tend to use reputable websites to order online goods which have the proper security certificates. I have also changed a lot of my accounts to "paperless" so there is less to store.

I have a (rubbish!) shredder which I try to use frequently but must admit that junk mail with my address on goes into the bin as it is which I now know is foolish.

We get a lot of phishing e-mails purportedly from our bank, HMRC ETC which thankfully are usually picked out thanks to our very good security package we bought for the PC. I do worry that one or two may slip through the net particularly as we bank online. I worry more for my elderly parents who are not so "internet savvy" and I have had to teach-about phishing e-mails as they have been contacted by fake parcel firms claiming to be holding goods for them.
We are on Facebook and twitter but do not have any personal information such as date of birth, phone number or even the general area we live. I don't allow my kids to put any of their details on either.

We shred documents with our names and addresses on, bank details etc. Although our shredder has broken so I have stacks building up! A secure recycling bin e.g. at the supermarket (we have mini confidential ones at work) would be so handy. Do these exist?

My husband was the victim of identify theft a few years ago. We think it was from a dodgy card machine at a petrol station as there were a few reported incidents at the time. Thankfully it was only a few hundred quid and his bank spotted it and handled it - couldn't fault them (for once!).

XmasDestination Fri 27-Sep-13 18:17:11

We have as much as possible paperless, so less stuff through the door with our details on.

I think all credit cards and bank cards should have the user's photo on it.

asuwere Fri 27-Sep-13 18:51:34

I do all my banking online so don't get any statements etc. Anything that I do get with my details on it does get shredded - I keep it in a cupboard then shred it all about once a month or so.

I don't use any social media (Mumsnet is the closest I get and I don't share any personal info on here!)

I generally am very careful about my information. If a company phones me and then asks to go through security, I refuse to provide any details and instead will phone them back (on a number I've looked up). I never give out details unless I've contacted them first.

Theincidental Fri 27-Sep-13 20:03:11

I am careful with data and shred confidential paperwork. I have unique passwords on all financial accounts.

I never read phishing emails and delete or quarantine them.

I had my credit card details stolen once online in a transaction so I'm more careful now than I have been before.

BlackberrySeason Fri 27-Sep-13 20:05:28

Shredding all paperwork is a must for us

sharond101 Fri 27-Sep-13 20:42:28

I haphazardly shred important documents but experience should have me more cautious. My Mum had her identity stolen and the bandit managed to change her address and request a new bank card which they then began using to purchase cars!!! We were on holiday and could not get any money from the cash machine as it swallowed her card. She got the money back but it was a very stressful time.

themummyonthebus Fri 27-Sep-13 20:51:38

When we lived in a block of flats our neighbours gave our name for their electricity bills. As the meters were read remotely the fact that there were two of <our family name> with almost identical addresses was never noticed. It took two years if our electric being cut off every quarter before we got to the bottom of it. It was more annoying than distressing and took a lot of time and energy on our part to resolve the problem.

We'd always been careful to shred paperwork before but that was a wake up call to get our paperwork properly in order (part of the issue was that we didn't notice we were getting two bills with different contract numbers).

I always pay attention to the "look" of the ATM and cover the pin pad with my hand as I enter my pin.

The usual load of phishing emails don't bother me but I do worry about my parents being taken in. Both DH and I do a lot of shopping on line and are pretty careful to make sure the site is reputable, etc. DH has been the victim of credit card fraud once but we think that was a card clone made during one of his business trips.

As someone up thread said, I couldn't imagine doing without internet banking and shopping, so you just have to protect yourself as best you can.

GetKnitted Fri 27-Sep-13 21:27:28

I stopped shredding things, oops! I've been quite complacent about it because we live in a quiet neighbourhood and I wasn't worried that anyone would go through the bins. Should I start shredding again?

rallytog1 Sat 28-Sep-13 08:49:18

Phishing emails used to stick out like a sore thumb but some are becoming increasingly convincing. If I'm ever unsure about the legitimacy of an email I'll phone the customer service department (using a number I've found on their website, not in the email) and ask whether it's genuine.

WowOoo Sat 28-Sep-13 09:32:31

I let confidential papers pile up and then shred them. I find it quite therapeutic.

I don't get phishing emails very often. I may even have deleted some genuine emails in the past.

I know a victim of identity fraud. It was a shocking and stressful time, but I think it's taught him to be far more security conscious.

Maggietess Sat 28-Sep-13 10:34:22

I have actually had my card details used fraudulently twice. It was my debit card and must have been from Internet as I am very careful with my details. I can only assume a couple of sites I purchased from weren't as secure as they could have been. Bank refunded all monies on both occasions (in fact they spotted it almost instantly and informed me). One of them went to court as part of a major fraud ring prosecution some 4 years later.

Most recently I had some log on to my pinterest account from India. Now that worried me, as I use the same password for a few things and it is a secure one (caps, letters, numbers combo) pinterest sent an email to say was this you and if not change your password.

Not nice.

DontmindifIdo Sat 28-Sep-13 12:47:31

I had a horrible experience with this last year, trying to buy a chair in John Lewis my credit card was rejected - luckily I had DH with me who could pay for it. I got home and logged into my on-line account and found some bastard had bought a couple of range cookers on my card (doubly gutting, I'd love a new range cooker, someone else got two with my card, bastards). Anyway, credit card company were lovely about it, and sorted it all out for me, turns out these snotfaced bastards had also applied for my credit limit to be increased by a couple of grand so they could steal yet more shock

I still don't know how they got the details, it does make me nervous, I do shred bank and credit card statements. I assume it must have been from the internet as I always use my credit card for on-line purchases, mainly because I was told it was easier to get that frozen than get your money back if someone does it with your debit card and takes the money out of your account. I'm not sure if that's true or not. It did at least mean that while I had no credit card for 2 weeks while it was all sorted and a new one came through, I didn't have to worry about direct debits not going through as I would if they'd taken money from my current account using my debit card. the only place my debit card details are used on line is Ocado (so far, they've proved trustworthy...)

NotCitrus Sat 28-Sep-13 20:33:34

I ensure I have different passwords for anything serious or money related, compared to my generic one for signing up to mailing lists, which often email me in plaintext with the password reminder. I don't have my birthday or family details listed on Facebook or social media so people would find it hard to track down my birthday or mother's maiden name (a distant relative did put an entire family tree online in the early days of the Net, thankfully before the Wayback sites got them, but took it down when I got my mum to go batshit at him - he even worked in computer security!)
I don't bother shredding name and address stuff but do shred anything with NI number or more significant details. I get various phishing emails but usually not with banks I'm with, and I never phone anyone and always go to the banking and Amazon home pages to log in, never click a link in an email.

MrNC had a credit card cloned a couple times, probably in a restaurant before they invented the machnes that come to your table. Both times the cc company agreed he was clearly elsewhere at the times they were used and refunded the money before the bill was due. I've never had a problem, possibly because my card says Dr Not Citrus and young people don't want to use it.

My boss did have identity fraud happen - another Smile account was set up in her unique name with her date of birth and address and then the address changed to one someone purportng to be her was running a massage business from, but the bank and police both told her that as no money had been lost, it wasn't a problem and she couldn't complain. She spent hours on the phone trying to get someone to take it seriously but eventually just moved banks.

AVW78 Sun 29-Sep-13 09:13:50

My brother suggested that I should put a fake name, address and birthday on anything I am asked to fill in or sign. I haven't started this yet but am seriously considering it. I have a zillion different passwords and a couple of email addresses. But how many passwords can you really remember?

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Sun 29-Sep-13 12:09:00

I try to stay safe, password protect, keep details to a minimum online etc shred personal details before binning but I am sure that if someone was determined they could probably find a way in sadly. my philosophy is not to make it easy for them, same as I won't leave a window open or a door unlocked when I go out I try not to do the same in my virtual world.

sealight123 Sun 29-Sep-13 12:31:22

I work at a university, in the IT department, so see atleast 1 phishing email a day. Some posing as banks, HMRC and some trying to pose as the university, trying to get students and staff members details. Every once in a while someone is tricked into given their details away and we try to do as much damage control as possible by disabling their account (momentarily) to stop the phishing scam spreading and reporting the email to a web team so that the site can be disabled.

From my experience at the university I am reluctant to giving any personal information via email and over the phone, because I have seen what damage it can do.

Just remember if it sounds too good to be usually is.

dedado Sun 29-Sep-13 18:57:37

Friends were the victim of ID theft and the police thought it was through thieves targeting rubbish bins.

I am careful when internet shopping, choosing established businesses and only using a credit card, not a bank card.

I don't post my whereabouts or birthday etc on social media.

I haven't replaced a broken shredder yet, so tear up identifying paperwork. I don't receive much through the mail as I use online billing for utilities etc. I do get annoyed when institutions who should know better, e.g. banks, send unnecessary paperwork with identifying information.

SleeplessInBedfordshire Sun 29-Sep-13 21:13:25

I'm pretty careful at shredding documents before disposing, and I shred names and addresses from envelopes. I generally try not to sign up for loyalty cards or mailing lists to reduce junk mail and prevent details being passed on. I've got a separate email address that I use for entering competitions.
I've been affected by identity fraud once, when my car number plates were cloned. First I knew about it was receiving a fine in the post from an area I've never driven in! Luckily the police caught the culprits soon after so it was cleared up quickly.

Punkatheart Sun 29-Sep-13 23:22:07

I recently had my card cloned and it felt so frightening. I went to buy food and my card was refused. I had to call the bank and then be told of the fraud.

I am very cynical about any emails asking for details.

Lilpickle08 Mon 30-Sep-13 00:37:44

I definitely worry about this, the number of phishing and scam emails is definitely on the increase. I'm pretty savvy, but some of the emails are so genuine, I do have to double check. I always worry about vulnerable older people and wonder how many of them are scammed quite easily.

I try to protect myself online, and don't have that many personal details available (as far as I'm aware!). I use social media a lot, and I guess I have a lot of photos on the internet, but hopefully not much other information (I think I hid my phone number and address etc).

Re credit card fraud, I know that if your bank card for example is used fraudulently, then the banks do get your money back for you - so at least that is something. I'm lucky enough for that not to have happened though (yet!). I do check my statements frequently to ensure all the transactions are mine.

As regards personal information at home, I tend to cut documents up into little pieces, and other stuff is filed away - I wouldn't go so far as to lock anything up.

So I would say I'm probably 'middle of the road' when it comes to protecting my personal information, I could definitely try harder!

ChasedByBees Mon 30-Sep-13 07:26:59

I knew of someone who used the same online passwords for a number of things. One of these sites was hacked and then the hackers used her password to access her email account. Once they had that, they started going to other sites that she used and requesting new passwords to be sent to email. It was a nightmare to wrest back control of all the sites she used and they were able to order stuff online in the meantime.

On a lighter note, I enjoyed my email from Mervin King asking for my help with his funds.

tinypumpkin Mon 30-Sep-13 12:25:16

Again, not posting birthdays, dates of holidays and whereabouts on social media. Too tempting!

I also shred documents that we don't keep. Nothing goes in the bin with our address etc on.

Also use good anti virus, malware and other internet security.

I think it is a difficult issue, there are always new ways to overcome the ways we manage protecting our identity.

We had someone hack into our emails and was logging on into our account in Indonesia and Australia!. We make quite a few purchases online so my husband changed everything and I think we managed to avoid any type of fraud thankfully. We shred documents before we throw them away also.

Lent1l Mon 30-Sep-13 14:50:45

Having had cards cloned twice I am always very careful to go through both my bank statement and credit cards statements on a regular basis. Neither I receive in printed form and will admit to logging into my accounts several times a week jsut to ensure there has not been activity that I don't recognise.

All card receipts are shredded as are any other documents with personal details on once I no longer need them.

I also check my credit file on a regular basis as this can be another way of noticing suspicious activity.

It is hard these days with everything online, and companies seem to ask for more and more details for the smallest things these days, even getting a refund in some shops you ahve to supply full address and phone number.

BooMeowson Tue 01-Oct-13 08:29:43

I once had my card details lifted when I used it in a proper shop. The worker used my details online and helped herself to £600 worth of technology.

Since the scenario was absolutely unavoidable (unless I wanted to pay cash forever) I don't worry about fraud so much.

NomDeClavier Tue 01-Oct-13 10:05:07

All our paperwork is filed away but when we were relocating internationally I was worried about shipping that file. Important stuff is scanned onto our computer so we have copies but I wonder how secure that is sometimes too.

My card got copied in a bar once. It was a total nightmare to sort out but I just don't know how to prevent it from happening again so my solution is to keep an eye on activity on my accounts and be up to speed with my banks' procedures for dealing with it.

lagoonhaze Tue 01-Oct-13 15:22:38

I just wish there was another solution to endless shredding! What with work docs and personal docs its neverending

rlouisa Tue 01-Oct-13 16:42:40

i used to shred, but iv discovered a better way. burning. so i pt all the documents in an oil barrel type barrel and burn them. so much quicker than sitting thru hours of shredding. for me

LaTrucha Tue 01-Oct-13 16:44:26

We used to have a shredder but it broke, so I tend to send stuff that needs to be shredded into DH's work where they have one. I keep things in a filing cabinet. TBH, I think you are more likey to have this kind of inforrmation stoled via the computer than from your house these days. I have anti-virus and malware spotter on my computer but that is as far as I am clued up. I suppose I think that by the time I've got super duper security, someone will have worked out a way to get around it.

I am cautious with social media. I check my bank account for odd transactions two or three times a month. My bank account has been defrauded in the past, but I don't know if that is identity theft as such.

xxxkadzxxx Tue 01-Oct-13 22:17:44

I have never been a victim of identity fraud although my mum has. In May we were going on holiday to Vietnam for 3 weeks. On the way to the airport my mum received a call from her bank questioning a transaction which was made from her account. It was for thousands of pounds being transferred to a baptist church in America. The bank were fine about the matter and dealt with it quickly but as a result of the fraud my Mums card had to be cancelled and replaced which wouldn't be with her for up to 2 weeks. Luckily my Nan was able to transfer some money into my account for spending money or we would have had a pretty rubbish and 'nothingy' holiday as there was no way my money would have paid for all of us!

stephgr Wed 02-Oct-13 00:45:22

I am deliberately careful with my personal info so I'm not on social networking sites. I shred all personal documents which I no longer need.

I have had phishing emails and ones which have infected my computer with viruses so now I won't click on links in emails unless I know the sender. Recently I've had a lot of fake emails from paypal which I have forwarded to paypal in the hope that there's something they can do.

I have security software on my computers and whilst i do shop online a lot I don't bank online.

I have been the victim of credit card fraud several times in the past 10 years and the card companies think the perpetrator got my details via online shopping i had done. I now check my card statements more carefully.

dappledawn Wed 02-Oct-13 11:31:31

ID fraud is an ever-present concern these days and I don't do online banking for that reason, as one can never be sure how secure such systems actually are, and there is always the possibility of their being hacked into.

Recently I was sent a new debit card by my bank, as my existing one had been apparently compromised, as I'd used it for online purchasing on a certain website (they couldn't tell me which one, but were reissuing debit cards with new numbers, just in case). Lakeland also sent out a letter a few weeks ago alerting customers that their website had been hacked, which was a concern as I have shopped there in the past online. A couple of years ago I took out a new ID Fraud /Identity Theft policy with CPP, after it came out - if I remember correctly - that the DWP had 'lost' a CD-ROM holding personal details of millions of people who were in receipt of Child Benefit. I felt that this had raised my risk of becoming a victim of ID fraud so this expense would be justified. Now I find that CPP is itself under scrutiny for mis-selling such policies and may have to pay back premiums to many customers of whom I might be one....!

So it is very hard to know how best to protect oneself against this fast-increasing crime of our times - especially when despite all our personal vigilance, some companies/institutions themselves do not take enough care over personal details of individuals: there are often horror stories in the press of private info being found in bins on the street, etc.

I feel strongly that legitimate institutions themselves should get their act in order: recently I got an unsolicited phone call, purportedly from my bank, saying they wanted to talk to me but would not tell me why or what about, until I had revealed to the caller, some letters from my mother's maiden name etc... When I challenged their identity, the caller said: 'I can tell you your bank card number to prove who I am'(!) - which made me even more worried. I got back to the bank and found out in the end that it had been a legit call, but the way it was made caused me concern that it had been yet another scam trying to trick me into parting with personal information. I still don't know what that call was about!

DifferentNow Wed 02-Oct-13 15:44:18

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information? Maybe you keep all your documents in a safe? Or shred them as soon as you've finished with them?

I tear papers up but DH is always giving me a hard time for not being careful enough. I'm bad for doing things like logging on to internet banking when I'm out and about and using public wifi

More recently, it has become even more important to protect yourself online too. Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails? Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media?

I've received lots of 'phishing' emails. Most are very obviously dodgy but the odd one can appear quite convincing - I can see how some people are duped. I don't use social media (although I probably post a bit too much personal info here on MN!).

Have you or anyone you know ever had any experiences with personal identity fraud?

Not as far as I know.

CMOTDibbler Wed 02-Oct-13 15:51:20

We shred everything with information on.

Online, I'm careful as to what I reveal, and am v careful about who I buy from

DoubleMum Wed 02-Oct-13 17:12:25

I'm not too zealous about it. Phishing emails are generally easy to spot but I probably should shred. Our bins are only available for a few hours though and I work from home in a small cul-de-sac so I'd notice if a stranger was going through them.

flamingtoaster Wed 02-Oct-13 17:34:11

We shred everything that has any information about us on it.

I've had quite a few phishing e-mails but never click on them. If I feel I want to check anything I go direct to the website myself by typing the url I know to be genuine into a new window.

A couple of years ago over a period of weeks we got invoices from mobile phone companies for huge mobile phone bills - foreign name but our address. The first mobile phone company didn't have anyone on duty over the weekend to deal with fraud - and when we did get through they were unconcerned, they simply wrote it off. In the end we contacted all the mobile phone companies and asked that no contracts or mobiles were issued to our address without additional security checks.

We tend to shred paperwork when finished with it.

Don't tend to receive spam into main email as I'm careful about giving that out and have another one to put into websites etc.

Had fraudulent transaction of credit card once (payment to activity park!) when we'd been away on a weekend. It's made sure I check all credit card transactions/ bank statements very carefully. However credit card company were very good about returning money as it was found to be a transaction without any PIN number input or security checks.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Wed 02-Oct-13 18:14:45

Use proper, difficult passwords that you change regularly
No online presence whatsoever. Google my real name and nothing comes up.
Fake birthdays on Facebook
Fake 'nickname type' name on Facebook
Alternative disposable emails to use where there is a chance of spam
Tick 'no marketing' on EVERYTHING
Don't link various online identities.
Make sure all apps etc are set to maximise privacy- don't allow ANY information harvesting
Report ANY spam phone calls/texts to ofcom and your mobile provider
Follow up and stop any addressed marketing post.
If any company has your personal details when it's not essential get them to remove ALL your details from ALL their databases. (Ie don't just ask to be removed from mailing lists)
Generally try not to link credit/debit cards with online accounts. Use gift cards or vouchers or enter card details every time
Check websites with a website checker (eg Norton Web Site Check -free online)
Use a decent computer online security program
Shred everything . smile.
If your shredders is broken then leave your papers in water with a drop of bleach and scrunch up the resulting mush. grin
Keep your paperwork simple and ORGANISED so you can spot things if they go wrong
Check your bank account regularly
Don't be too trusting.

missorinoco Wed 02-Oct-13 21:57:06

So, do you do anything to protect your personal information? Maybe you keep all your documents in a safe? Or shred them as soon as you've finished with them?

No shredder, but I tear up any personal information into multiple small pieces and only recycle anything without any identity on it.

Have you ever been sent 'phishing' emails?

Occasionally. I have a low threshold for deleting and marking as junk.

Do you try not to reveal too much personal information on social media?
Yes, very little. No address, location, number, date of birth..

MollyBerry Wed 02-Oct-13 23:03:06

I haven't but a friend of mine the other day had this happen to them.

I am very careful, I have facebook set to maximum and I shred EVERYTHING. I am guilty of not having all paperwork in order though

Willemdefoeismine Thu 03-Oct-13 18:31:28

It happened to me once about 10 years ago. I think someone cloned my card when I bought lunch in a cafe although I'm not entirely sure! Anyway someone went on a jolly in Italy courtesy of our joint account ;-(. I became naturally suspicious of everyone I knew initially as I'm very careful about things like this - unlike DH who tends to throw away envelopes etc...without shredding the identifying bits! Anyway since then I've been even more vigilant and cautious. Everything is shredded and more often than not composted :-).

If you don't have a shredder you could always get a small rodent to help out with the shredding. If our shredder isn't working I usually sit with a pair of scissors and do it by hand (paranoid or what?).

I actually think that shredders are the type of service that libraries should offer but I guess you'd get some annoying person deciding to shred twenty years or so of documents....hmm.

mignonette Thu 03-Oct-13 18:50:45

Years ago we had somebody take out store cards in our name from presumably stolen post. We called in the Police in order to gain credibility w/ the credit agencies involved and clear ourselves of any involvement.

I have had my card skimmed and am now circumspect about only using ATM's inside banks. I never let my card out of my sight. They took £4000 out of my account but it was refunded by my bank instantly because there sales of IPhones/Blackberries/Ipods had been recorded in Darlington, Reading, Sheffield and Slough all within the same fifteen minutes at POS transactions-impossible for it to have been me. I do not live anywhere near these places.

We shred or burn everything and have made sure our children know never to throw away intact personal information in household waste. We destroy those letters from banks etc offering us free credit cards too in case somebody gets hold of them.

We have to keep all financial/household bills for seven years anyway as DH is self employed and it is all kept securely- the thought of it being stolen and the resulting accounts chaos makes my hair go virtual reality grey.

I have no google profile in my RL name as I have a different working name and all my financial/banking/admin activities are in my non professional name. I do not FB (an invitation to burglaries when you go on holiday w/ the chain effect of FB 'friends'). They are not linked anywhere either.

My friend (computer superbrain) showed me how to hack into FB/Twitter. It took her a few minutes and a child of five could do it. So I will never use these sites. I am amazed at the personal stuff people put on there- it is not safe or secure.

I never tick the marketing box and am registered with TPS. I never confirm my details w/ anybody who calls me either regardless of whether it is w/ a service or firm I use. I tell them they must know who I am because they called me.

I clear my laptop of cookies regularly so my card details are not stored. I never ever use a phone to purchase anything. The technology to protect your phone contents is not adequate if it is stolen or 'overheard' by scammers. I will not use online banking either due to the same friend showing me how easy it is to hack into accounts.

BTW my stepdaughter stupidly used a work computer to check on some personal stuff and a week later had £1200 lifted from her account. The banks advice - NEVER use work PCs to access anything personal. Never assume the cache has been cleared.

SalBeautyMoll Thu 03-Oct-13 19:05:54

I think we're all pretty vulnerable given recent revelations on how people have access to our online activity. Makes me wonder who could get into my bank account.

I did once fall foul of a phishing scam blush really stupid. I bought something on eBay and then the "seller" emailed a slightly different email address for me to pay via Paypal. Fortunately Paypal refunded me but I was just gullible.

I have had a credit card company ring me up and want details of my account on the phone and get a bit shirty when I refused to give them - it was genuinely them.

Also had the AA ring up with an offer I wanted to accept but they wanted my credit card details on the phone and wouldn't offer it by post. Hate it when legit companies ask people to take risks that might then encourage them to do the same with rogues.

Snog Thu 03-Oct-13 20:20:18

I had my email hacked 12 years ago and felt really upset - violated even. We now shred everything and try not to supply DOB on line

BadlyWrittenPoem Thu 03-Oct-13 21:26:04

I shred documents and always dispose of old cards gradually so the whole thing couldn't be retrieved from the bin. Most phishing e-mails go to spam but I have had the odd realistic one get through. I always go to the site using my saved link though rather than an e-mail to be safe.

I am rubbish I'm terrible at protecting my identity but have a such a rubbish credit rating no one would want it!

Ruby6918 Fri 04-Oct-13 10:19:42

i get a lot of phishng scams through e mail, i block them all and report them as phishing scams, most r from yahoo users, hmrc, and barclays bank,it wrecks my nerves as i dont know how they have found me, be careful of kids using your internet as i recently minded a friends teenage son and he was able to get games online through my account and apple without permission and i havent clue how he done it, i never give out my pin, and i change my passwords on websites regularly, i think i need to check my bank account more often though as i seldom get paper statements and i dont do it on line often enough, i hate this hackers, even facebooks mark zuckerberg had his account hacked not long ago so what hope is there?

jojane Fri 04-Oct-13 10:31:31

I have had ,y card c,oned a couple of times. First time bank rang me as transactions were being made at the same time in America and Germany! So no transactions went through. 2nd time I noticed lots of pay as you go online transactions for various mobile companies so rang the bank and was refunded within 24 hours.
When using Internet I use my shortened version of my name and always alter my date of birth by a digit. I never click on links in emails for banks/PayPal etc and never give people ringing me personal info, I will always ring bank on number I have.

YouHaveAGoodPoint Fri 04-Oct-13 11:49:19

If there is ANY chance of someone using your computer make sure you turn off autofill

I was quite lax about the whole thing and used to bin my bills etc without shredding- just ripping into a few pieces.

Mistake! Ended up with about 4 catalogue companies contacting me about unsettled debts.

The fraud dept never actually told me if they'd found out who it was. I would quite like to know!

mignonette Fri 04-Oct-13 13:28:43


You definitely live up to your MN name. That was one of the ways my stepd got caught out when using a work computer. Thank you for reminding everybody about the dangers of Autofill.

Lilyloo Fri 04-Oct-13 13:33:18

I was affected by personal identity fraud. A high school friend used all my details after leaving school with her numerous dealings with the police. She had got caught up in an unsavoury lifestyle and on my finding out I had hundreds of incidences logged against me with the police.
She was a good friend through school so knew lots of my personal details , same eye , hair colour etc.
The first I knew about it was when I applied for a job working with children. They contacted me and I had to go to the police station and be interviewed so they could remove the links to my name. I even had to have my fingerprints taken.
Luckily it didn't stop me getting the job but it was a big shock to think someone could so easily do that to you.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Fri 04-Oct-13 16:04:47

I know I don't do enough to protect myself from personal identity fraud. I think I still have a bit of that 'it won't happen to me' or 'if it does, it will be fixable' type mindset, which I know isn't true.
I do try to keep any documents secure and destroy them properly etc, but I know my email isn't secure.
I find my life is complicated enough with different usernames and passwords, that there's not much more I can cope with. I keep locking myself out of my online banking because I can't keep all the passwords in my head.

I don't know anyone's who has been a victim of identity fraud and I am quite complacent with personal documents but this is probably a reminder to be more mindful of how I dispose of personal documents. I am quite online savvy though and don't easily give out personal information.

Uzma01 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:45:53

I hadn't really used my credit card much in the last couple of years, but when I noticed a lot of payments made on it from two different sites (Amazon USA & Amazon France) over 2-3 days. There was over £200 of payments made - the first I knew of it was an email from Amazon UK flagging up the issue so I contacted my crest card provider and managed to sort out the issues.

I think my husband is more concerned about identity theft - wants paperwork, including envelopes with our details shredded/ripped up, he won't use financial sites wirelessly - always plugs the internet cable into the laptop etc.

Uzma01 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:48:31

I do get a lot of phishing scams via email, but they're easy to spot so I flag them up & usually report them.

I don't put too much information on Facebook - certainly don't 'check in' anywhere - I'd rather people don't know my whereabouts, especially if I'm not home!

goldenretriever Fri 04-Oct-13 20:29:26

I am very careful and shred anything with personal details on. I have had my ebay account hijacked before and it was an unpleasant experience.

ItsNotUnusualToBe Fri 04-Oct-13 20:39:20

Have been a victim of identify fraud. Capital One sent a 'please-sign-up-for-a-credit-card' letter to my old address 2 years after I'd moved house. The new homeowner then filled on my date of birth incorrectly, signed as my signature, added himself as an additional cardholder, then proceeded to use the card in his name.

Capital One failed to notice that I was on the electoral register at another address and that my DOB was wrong.

I really really loathe unsolicited credit card application forms with my details pre-printed, for the above reason.

Solo Sat 05-Oct-13 00:48:04

Ironically I was on holiday (in England, in a caravan ) when I got a phone call from my CC company. They asked me if I had booked a hotel recently using my AMEX card. I said no (wished I was in a hotel). Turned out that my card number had been used over the phone by someone literally a few days beforehand and the CCC had picked up on it. Funny thing was, I'd only ever used that card once before several months prior and for double the amount of money, but they'd not phoned to check that out! I find that strange.

I shred everything. I'm completely anal about that. I'm also very security conscious when using my cards in readers/cash points.

I recognise phishing emails and just delete and if it's from ebay/paypal etc, I never click on the links, but sign in independently as if it's a legitimate email, it'll be on my account anyway.

My Uncle lost £5k from his account due to fraud. He got it back but it was a nightmare!

Solo Sat 05-Oct-13 00:56:46

Oh yes! recently the school sent out data protection forms with our personal details on to be updated or corrected. My name, address and both phone numbers, Dd's fathers name, Grandma's name and phone, friends name, address, phone numbers, Dd's DOB, her medical stuff!!! docs name, health visitors name, the medical centres details.
I didn't get mine. I got the letter it should have been attached to, but not the who has it? the school are embarrassed, but they don't know! another mum got someone elses form and they got hers! there names don't even start with the same letter. I find this utterly disgusting!!

duchesse Sat 05-Oct-13 10:25:37

We are very security conscious when it comes to disposing of personal and banking documents. Luckily we have woodburners and a wood fired boiler, so dispose of all sensitive information in those. My MIL brings her banking and sensitive documents to us as well for burning.

ataraxia Sat 05-Oct-13 12:25:26

We had a call from our bank asking if we had spent several hundred pounds on camping equipment, as that seemed to be out of our usual pattern of spending. We hadn't, and the fraud was eventually traced back to a credit card transaction we'd made for meals at a pub in Alice Springs, Australia! We don't seem to have had any further consequences from that incident, but it is a concern.

Seperately, had an incident with my online accounts - I was in my email account and an email disappeared before my eyes. Turns out someone had hacked my account and was using that access to change password for all other accounts. They had got into my ebay and were using it to sell an item. Ebay were unconcerned, implying that I had posted the listing, until I insisted I had never sold on ebay, I did not live in the location that the item would be shipped from, and did not have the same IP address. They took the listing down and I changed my passwords immediately.

I shred documents with personal information once not needed, and I'm careful reviewing emails/clicking links.

hunhun007 Sat 05-Oct-13 18:11:33

As I use internet and social media every day for pleasure and work I have good understanding how important it is to keep your personal details safe.
Identity fraud, especially online one is becoming a huge problem.
I had situation that someone tried to be me and claim my competition winning prize... most people wouldn't think much about it but it was in fact a identity fraud just on a small scale...
I wish teachers could see this as a problem and educate our kids in this matter a bit more...

VikingLady Sat 05-Oct-13 21:20:17

I get a lot of emails from a range of "banks" (clearly scams) phishing, but none have yet looked even remotely legit. The vast majority have typos in the subject line, which is something of a giveaway - I appreciate that not everyone would spot that though!

I had four bank cards stolen from my jeans back pocket, week after week, in one of our local shops. Always the same shop. I was terrified of ID fraud/theft etc and cancelled them immediately, and have always had insurance against ID theft!

iwanttoscream Sun 06-Oct-13 10:09:37

We rip up and put in our compost bin, did on one occasion have someone nosing through our paper recycling bin. But we NEVER put any thing in there with our names, address etc.
I don't use the hole in the wall, in case it's been tampered with.
Have used a debit card online only once, to purchase my daughter's special school uniform as it's not in any shops.

FutureMum Sun 06-Oct-13 20:21:05

Yes, it has happened twice, first time in 2002 to me and then very recently to DH. The first time the card was cloned at a cashpoint, but I had no awareness that this could happen, it was something that wasn't really talked about in the media the way it is today. The second time we believe it may have been of a result of an online transaction or online retailers which haven't kept their customers data safe.
A shredder is invaluable, throughout the years ours has helped us dispose safely of letters, old bank statements, no-longer-needed medical records, etc. So my advice to anyone who hasn't got one would be to get theirs to protect themselves. A second thing that is useful is to wriggle your card as you take it out of the cashpoint, as I have read this makes it more difficult to clone it (these days, I try to pay by card or use cashback rather than cashpoints, or use the cashpoint facilities inside and not outside the bank.)

Scarifying Mon 07-Oct-13 09:26:16

Get your details removed from your electoral register through your local council AND get your details removed from publish your details online and make your electoral register details google'able (is that a word?)
You have you print off a form and send it to them. Do one for every family member. Double check from time to time that your details haven't got back on their register. If they have send them a stroppy email.

mignonette Mon 07-Oct-13 09:28:06

Good point Scarifying. We have removed our details. Thanks for reminding me.

Someone attempted to open a catalogue account in my name, and was only prevented from ordering some high value items by getting by birthday wrong by two weeks.

This came after receiving dozens of attempted accounts in names other than my own - easily resolved by 'returning to sender' and ensuring the company blocked by address.

I was incredibly impressed by the fraud team at the company, but this was a real wake up call as I'd never been that careful about shredding things with my name and address on, even though I've always made sure no account numbers or bank information went in the bin. I suspect that the birthday was no coincidence - my family celebrated by birthday early so there was plenty of clues in the recycling, even if they were off by a couple of weeks.

I'm not on a fraud alert for anyone trying to access credit in my name, but I'm still checking experian weekly. Very weird to think that someone was so determined to use my name and address sad

oops - that should say I'm now on a fraud alert!

Letitsnow9 Mon 07-Oct-13 20:37:45

My parents card has been cloned several times, we are all careful so don't know where. The first time someone cloned it they went into a shop and brought 2 iPads in a row. We shred all details documents but like the person above I don't protect my address much online. I always delete emails that want you to click on links to confirm something or to log in

Ikeameatballs Mon 07-Oct-13 21:35:00

I don't think that I'm as good at this as I should be.

I struggle to remember passwords o need to Chang then frequently, so I suppose that's a good thing.

I try to burn documents on the fire, this happens more fen in the winter obviously!

I once ha my credit card details used fraudulently to purchase goods online. I had had to give the details over the phone in a shop to make a large purchase and I am sure that the deals were taken den then and used a few days later. It was stopped immediately by my bank.

starfishmummy Mon 07-Oct-13 23:48:59

I have a separate credit card which I use for internet shopping or if giving details over the phone.
Neither my bank account nor savings account are internet based, nor do I want them to be.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 08-Oct-13 11:09:50

It is something I am wary of because it has happened to me even though I'm careful almost to the point of paranoia. In fact when it happened I was a regular frequenter of Mums'n'Babies groups and I started to question the honesty of some of my fellow attendees. Despite being suspicious of fellow-mums, I actually think I was just very unlucky to use an external 'hole-in-the-wall' which had been tampered with.....

Now, I do try to ensure that wherever possible I only use cashpoint machines within banks or shopping centres that are regularly patrolled and locked at night-time.

Yes, I've been known to burn documents, shred and compost them. I am certainly a lot more careful than DP though.....

lews Wed 09-Oct-13 10:04:09

I am not careful at all - I really must take action on this.

I tend to burn old documents - but not until there is a massive stack of them.

MoogDroog Thu 10-Oct-13 07:13:34

Thankfully, I've not been a victim myself, by I do know somebody that has.
I must admit that I'm probably not as cautious as I ought to be. I try to be careful with printed information and always intend to shred it (although in reality, it just means a bit pile of papers waiting to be shredded).
I do try and check myself before I give too much away online though, my privacy settings are checked and I hope that I can spot a phishing email a mile off.

BruthasTortoise Fri 11-Oct-13 08:15:43

We shred like demons in our home, have the most up to date antivirus software and use a specific e-mail address for online transactions. Phishing emails tend to easily spotted by people with some online savvy but an older member of my family was nearly caught out. Thank goodness they had second thought before handing over their bank details, I don't know what would've happened had they proceeded.

CheekyChimpsMummy Fri 11-Oct-13 09:59:55

Without wanting to tempt fate.... this has not happened to me, or anyone I know, and I very much hope that it stays that way!

I'm very cautious with everything I do that relates to my families data safety. I shred documents, I burn documents, I use online statements where possible and have the appropriate programs on the computer to hopefully combat malicious online intruders.

I also report all phishing emails to my bank (HSBC)

My absolute pet hate with this is when a genuine company (Next, for example) phone in reference to an account you have with them and they then ask you to confirm certain pieces of personal data that you gave to them on opening your account. That makes me furious! I've certainly sent a few unsuspecting call centre workers away with a flea in their ear when this has happened to me. If they're calling me, why should I have to give out my date of birth and postcode to prove who I am?! Crazy.

clubnail Sun 13-Oct-13 12:55:16

we have a small folder of essential documents hidden in our home in a place we don't expect a burglar to look (not giving it away on here). Everything else gets shredded as soon as it is not needed. most of our documentation is done online.

majjsu Sun 13-Oct-13 20:32:49

I shred all personal info. I don't have any personal info available on social media.

I am shocked how many phishing emails I receive that thankfully go in junk. I do wonder how many fall for them.

My parents were on holiday in Thailand and used their Visa card in reputable restaurants and came home to discover someone else had been using their card.

Plus I don't like making payments over the phone, you just never know.

telsa Sun 13-Oct-13 22:36:46

I got hacked and my identity stolen online. I think it was through my Paypal account, but it affected my ebay account too? my Paypal account was linked to my bank account and a few hundred pounds was taken. I got it back in the end but de linked the accounts for a while. Horrible. I have got lax again though. I don't shred bank letters etc either.

We burn the personal stuff. And do all we can to protect our online existence. But you have to give certain information to large corporations - insurers, mortgage providers etc - and while there are rules and regs they have to comply with, I am not convinced the staff or the systems are savvy enough to ensure our personal information doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

kilcrea Mon 14-Oct-13 16:33:50

We don't have a shredder but go through all junk mail before it goes to the bin to make sure that all personal details are either torn off or obliterated with a marker- a shredder would definitely make life easier though! As for phishing, the emails are getting more sophisticated - I got a very clever one recently claiming to be from Paypal which almost fooled me into thinking it was genuine. So I think these scams have come a long way from the ones about winning the Nigerian lottery etc :-)

MTBMummy Tue 15-Oct-13 11:33:13

I don't shred my post - but it does all get burnt. General junk mail with no address goes straight into recycling

I am paranoid, but I am an IT security professional, so it goes with the territory

gretagrape Thu 17-Oct-13 08:13:48

I have one email address for friends and one for companies/competitions and it's also set up with my name spelled differently so when I receive post with my name spelled incorrectly I know I can chuck it straight in the bin.

I burn all post/old paperwork.

When I take something back to a shop and they ask for my details I give them false ones.

I'm not on facebook or anything like that, and the name I've used on MN isn't my real one.

My credit card is only used for online purchases and is linked to an account that is only used to fund that card so my current account isn't linked to it at all.

Depressingly, when I changed my name into my married name by renewing my passport, I received junk mail 3 days later in my married name - the only way that could have happened is by the passport office passing on my details as I hadn't notified anyone else of the name change.

My post i just chuck in the bin, good luck with stealing my identity the only thing they will get are my debts that even i cant pay.

I ignore all phising emails, i hopefully have taught my teenagers the same.

I am on facebook but have high privacy settings, i suppose if someone wanted to steal my identity they could if they really wanted but i dont worry about it that much.

Oh and know one person that had her credit card cloned but no one who has suffered with identity theft.

mindingalongtime Thu 17-Oct-13 16:36:13

I've had my debit card cloned, it was really scary the bank phoning to check purchases being made on my card and it was in my hand when they were talking to me. They promptly cancelled it and left me in London not able to get any cash out! Thank goodness I use DH's card for cash!

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 23-Oct-13 10:42:40

Thank you for all your comments smile

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