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Identity theft and you

Posted: 19 Feb 2016

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Keeping your details safe

Have you ever been surprised to find out that you have an open account at a retail store, even though you never even shopped there before? This happens more than you know. According to the South African Fraud Prevention Services, 11 298 South Africans have been victims of ID fraud in the last year and 37 000 individuals are currently listed under the Protective Registration and Victim of Impersonation (SAFPS Executive MIS Report, January 2016). You as consumer need to be more vigilant than ever to ensure that your personal details are kept safe.

Here are a few simple guidelines to prevent that you fall victim:

  • Only carry your ID and passport with you when it is absolutely necessary. These should be locked away in a safe or secure location
  • No one else except you should know your passwords and pin numbers. Never write them down
  • Strengthen your passwords – at least 8 characters (an alpha numeric, symbol, numeric and upper and lower case)
  • Closely examine your bank statement every month to see if there are any unknown transactions. Report any suspicious activity immediately
  • When you get rid of any documents with personal information on them, either shred or burn it. You put yourself at risk when you simply tear up the document and throw it in the bin
  • Be safe online. Before you click on any links, always check that the website URL is secure by hovering your mouse over the link before you simply click on it
  • Look for the padlock symbol in the URL field when you make any payments online
  • Always report a stolen ID to the SA Fraud Prevention Services to ensure that your ID does not get used for fraudulent activities
  • Never forget to check your credit report on a regular basis. This enables you to track new accounts and existing payments to ensure you are 100% on top of your credit accounts. Check your report https://www.mycreditcheck.co.za/ 

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