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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,

MNHQ

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.

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