As Coronation Street’s Id fraud storyline unfolds Equifax urges people to ensure Id fraud doesn’t become their reality
ITV soap, Coronation Street, has once again highlighted a dangerous reality with its gripping story line on ID fraud, which came to a climatic head last Friday. Although the Coronation Street storyline highlights the risks of stealing the identity of someone with a less-than-perfect reputation, leading online credit information provider and ID fraud expert, Equifax, is still urging the public to take the danger of ID fraud very seriously.
The central character in the storyline, John Stape, took over the identity of Colin Fishwick, a teacher who had moved abroad, in order to continue teaching after gaining a criminal record and a stint in prison. On Friday, the storyline came to an exciting climax when Colin returned to the street to face John Stape. Unfortunately it appears John chose the wrong identity to steal, with Colin Fishwick’s own misdemeanours bringing John’s plans tumbling down. But Equifax believes the fact that it was relatively easy for John to steal Colin’s identity in the first place – simply because he had gone abroad – is an important message for all consumers.
“Although ID fraud makes for a great soap storyline, it also highlights the serious reality of this kind of crime and how easily it can occur” explains Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax. “It takes just a few pieces of personal information for a criminal to be able to imitate an identity, so the public need to take real care and be sure of exactly who they are giving their personal details to in order to protect themselves from this kind of fraud. They can do this by following a number of simple precautionary steps to help them ensure that they don’t become a victim themselves.”
Equifax’s Top Tips to prevent becoming a victim of ID fraud
o Apply for a copy of your credit report so that you can monitor any changes to your accounts, etc
o Never give out your personal details on the phone or by email unless you know exactly who you are dealing with and that they are from a legitimate organisation
o Do not carry around key personal documents – such as Driving Licence or Passport – unless you genuinely need them and keep them secure at home and when abroad
o Never tell anybody your PIN and keep it secure
o Make sure you dispose properly of any bills or bank statements with your account details on after checking them for any unusual activity
o Do not use the same PIN number for all of your cards, and the same passwords for your email accounts
o Make sure you log out properly when using any online banking, so that your details aren’t visible to anyone