Your identity and personal information are valuable so
it's important to protect them.
Criminals can use your personal details to open bank accounts and get credit cards, passports and driving licences in your name.
This is known as identity crime.
Identity theft and identity fraud are two types of identity crime.
Identity theft is when someone gains enough information about an identity (e.g, name, date of birth, address) to commit identity fraud. It's the misappropriation of the identity of another person without their knowledge or consent.
Identity fraud occurs when a stolen identity is used to gain goods or services by deception e.g, opens a bank account, gain benefits or apply for credit cards.
Criminals commit identity theft by stealing personal information.
A stolen identity can result in identity fraud which can affect your personal finances and chances of getting a loan, credit card or mortgage.
Identity Theft, a website put together by a number of public and private sector bodies, has lots of tips to help keep your personal information safe, but here are a few to get you started:
Bank and credit cards
You can find out more about card fraud on the Card Watch website.
Passwords and PINs
There are also helpful websites below which give tips and advice on how to prevent this happening.