How does it work?

Identity theft happens when an unauthorised person gains access to your personal details such as your name, credit card number, bank account details, PIN, PPSN number or your National Insurance Number and uses it for fraudulent purposes. Identity theft can happen in a number of ways. If it happens online it’s called a “Phishing Attack”. This is when you receive, usually by email, a request for your personal information from a person or organisation you assume is trustworthy. The information you send by return, is then used to “steal” your identity so that credit, loans or even rental agreements are applied for in your name.
Other common methods for obtaining your personal information include:
Dumpster Diving: the fraudster goes through your rubbish and steals copies of utility bills, financial statements etc. that can be later used to impersonate you for fraudulent purposes
Intercepting your Post: If you think your mail is being interfered with, contact the Post Office straight away and ask them to investigate. If your post is delivered to a central point, such as the hall of a block of apartments, make sure that you always collect it promptly, and always lock your postbox.
Browsing social network sites: The fraudster will see if they can obtain any personal information you have submitted to a social networking site.
Skimming: This is when special equipment is used to steal credit or debit card details when the card is being used at an ATM or in a store.
Using old computers you throw away: When you throw away an old computer or mobile phone, personal information like your bank account or credit card details may still be stored on the hard drive. This can easily be restored by a fraudster and used for criminal gain.