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 immediately

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Report credit card fraud immediately

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Victim Support

Our partnership with this independent charity supports customers who’ve been a victim of fraud or a scam. They offer a tailored service to meet your individual needs. It’s free, non-judgemental and confidential. And they will help you for as long as you need.

The Nationwide Fraud team will refer you for further support if you need it.

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)