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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,


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.

DangerousDorothy Thu 26-Sep-13 20:10:10

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.

LittleBallOfFur Fri 27-Sep-13 17:18:14

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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...)

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