What is identity fraud?

Identity fraud is when criminals steal your personal information and use your details to do things like:

  • Open bank accounts.
  • Get credit cards, loans and state benefits.
  • Order goods in your name.
  • Take over your existing accounts.
  • Take out mobile phone contracts.
  • Get genuine documents like passports and driving licences in your name.

Identity fraud can have a direct impact on your personal finances. It can make it difficult for you to get loans, credit cards or a mortgage.

How you can keep your personal information safe

Make it difficult for criminals to get hold of your personal information.

  • Protect your computers and mobile devices. Use strong passwords and up-to-date virus checkers.

  • Keep documents, bank cards and cheque books in a safe place.

  • Report lost or stolen cards, passbooks or cheque books straight away.

  • Never share or give out personal details. Keep your account number, PIN, password, card reader passcode or one-time codes safe.

  • Safely store or shred statements and receipts containing financial details.

  • Take care using social networking sites. Popular sites are targeted to harvest personal financial details so don't share unnecessary personal details.

  • If you move home, redirect your mail to your new address.

  • Regularly check your credit report. Use credit reference agencies like:

How to report identity fraud

Report current account fraud

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report credit card fraud

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

More help and information

CIFAS is the UK’s leading fraud prevention service. Help to reduce the threat of fraud and financial crime.
CIFAS website (opens in a new window)

Action Fraud is the UK's national fraud reporting centre. Call 0300 123 20 40.
Action Fraud website (opens in a new window)