How you can help halt identity fraud
BE wary if you lose your identification book (ID). The person who picks it up or steals it could try to impersonate you and steal your good name.
He or she could even steal goods and services by applying for credit in your name. Some people have found out that they have been married to illegal immigrants.
If you lose your identity document, driver’s licence or passport, you must immediately go to your nearest police station and report the theft and get a case number :
Always keep your ID (identity book), passport and driver’s licence in a safe place. Avoid keeping all these items together. If your passport is lost, you can use your ID book to apply for a new passport.
Before you disclose any personal information, find out how it will be used. Find out if the information will be kept confidential.
When you are requested to fill in personal details on documents, ensure that the company you are dealing with is legitimate. Verify if the representative posing on behalf of the company does indeed work at the company in question.
Keep a record of your accounts and follow up if they do not arrive on time.
Guard your mail from theft. Remove mail from your letterbox as soon as it has been delivered. If you are going to be away from home, ask a neighbour to collect your mail for you.
If you move to a new place of residence, change your address on your accounts without delay. .Don’t use predictable passwords such as your date of birth or telephone number on your accounts.
Carry only the amount of information that you will actually need in your handbag, briefcase, wallet or purse and guard your ID book, credit and/or bank cards.
Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail or over the Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know whom you are dealing with.
Keep items with personal information in a safe place. Tear or shred documents such as credit applications, bank statements and receipts. .Don’t leave personal information lying around during home renovations or if you employ outside help.
If you live with housemates, ensure that your personal information remains private.
Give your ID only when absolutely necessary. Ask to use other types of identification, if possible.
Request a copy of your credit report from each of the major credit reporting agencies every year. Make sure it is accurate and includes only those transactions you have authorised.
If possible, know how much money is available in your bank account on a day-today basis.
Go to your nearest police station and report the theft of your identity document immediately. Get a case number. As police stations are open 24 hours every day you do not have to wait for office hours to report the theft.
You can also receive a sworn affidavit and incident book (IB) number.
As the theft and subsequent events may have a negative impact on your good name, you need to protect it. You can do this by contacting the SA Fraud Prevention Service on their hotline 0860 10 1248 or website and ask them to register your case.
You will then be given a protective registration number to quote when applying for credit in future. You could also consult a representative at any branch of the country’s major banks.