Precautions to take to protect your identity
ringing. A financial institution will request that you verify your personal details only if you have requested information or a financial transaction telephonically.
Always dispose of documents containing personal information in a secure manner, such as by shredding them.
Do not leave personal information lying around on your office desk or even at home.
Never sign blank documentation or applications for insurance, and always make sure you know what you are signing for. If you are told that you do not need to complete certain fields in a document, draw a line through those fields or ensure that you write “n/a” clearly in them.
If you do not receive your pay slip in a particular month, notify your payroll department immediately, and check the next pay slip you receive to verify deductions.
Regularly check your bank statements for unauthorised deductions.
When paying premiums or investing money, make sure that you pay the money directly to the insurance company or the investment house.
Make sure you receive policy and investment statements directly from a financial institution. Make a point of checking all your policies and investments at least once a year. Warning bells should ring if you do not receive annual statements and transactional histories directly from your life insurer or investment company.
Something simple, which children should be taught too, is to ensure that you have a signature that is difficult to forge. Signatures that are scribbled and do not show a person’s name are the easiest to forge. Handwriting experts find it easier to identify discrepancies in signatures that are similar to a person’s normal handwriting.