What should I do if I am a victim of Identity Fraud?

13 Jun 2024, 20 mins ago

Identity theft is one of the UK’s fastest growing crimes. The ever-increasing globalization that the internet has afforded us, means we are more connected to one another than ever before. This connectivity can be exploited by criminals who are innovative in their ways of stealing the identities of unsuspecting individuals.

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone steals the personal details of another person. Identity theft often leads to fraud but is not considered a crime on its own.

What is Identity Fraud?

Identity fraud is when the stolen personal details of an individual are used without authorisation for commercial gain.

If you are a victim of identity theft, leading to fraud, it can have a direct impact on you personally, including making it impossible to obtain credit cards, bank loans, or even a mortgage.

Signs that you may be a victim of identity theft:

  • Mail from your utility provider doesn’t arrive
  • You receive bills for goods that you didn’t purchase
  • You are refused for financial services products e.g. credit cards
  • You receive lettings from debt collectors for debts that are not yours

Steps to Take if you think you’re a victim:

  1. Protect your accounts:
    • Ask your bank/s to stop any pending transactions
    • Contact any affected companies e.g. credit card companies
    • Change your passwords and PINs, including email and social media accounts
    • Report the fraud to Action Fraud
  2. Contact relevant organisations to inform them you are a victim of identity theft:
    • Use a credit referencing agency e.g. Experian, to check if any accounts were opened without your consent
    • Check your personal documents:
      • If your driver’s licence was lost/stolen, contact DVLA
      • If your passport is lost, stolen, or compromised, contact HMPO
      • If your company is affected, contact Companies House
  3. Additional steps to protect yourself:
    • Consider signing up for additional account protection, such as Cifas Protective Registration.

With the rise in internet crime, a large proportion of today’s identity theft and subsequent fraud spans multiple jurisdictions, leading to added complexity in resolving the issues. If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, or have been accused identity fraud, matters can become complicated, very quickly, seek legal advice a soon as possible

The Gherson Financial Crimes & White Collar Crime team have previously written articles related to this topic: What can you do to try and help avoid a crypto fraud of scam?

Reports of crypto frauds and scams remain on the increase. A recent article by Cyber reports how around £1 million-worth of cryptocurrency scams are being reported by Santander UK customers each month. This article quoted Thomas Cattee, Solicitor in Gherson’s criminal litigation, investigations and regulatory department

If you have any questions arising from this article, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, or send us an e-mail. Don’t forget to follow us on XFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date on the latest developments.

The information in this article is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

©Gherson 2024