KEEP YOUR IDENTITY SAFE
Roy Retief, operations manager for the South African Fraud Protection Services (SAFPS), says you should look after your identity “the same way you look after your cash”.
“Don’t leave any documents containing personal details lying around the house, in the car, or in your briefcase.”
Documents should be shredded before being thrown away and mail should be cleared out of postboxes as soon as possible. Also be wary of web links received via SMS or email “unless you’ve initiated the transaction and you’re comfortable it’s been sent from an authentic source”, Retief says.
It can be risky to post pictures of your driver’s licence or number plate of your new car on social media.
“Criminals can see details such as your identity number, have an example of your ID photo, and in certain cases even see the number plate on your vehicle.”
Consumers are entitled to one free credit report from a credit bureau each year.
“You’ll be able to see if credit enquiries were conducted against your profile.
“If there were, and you’re unaware of them, you should contact the credit bureau to obtain more information because you may have been impersonated.”
If your ID has been stolen, report it immediately to home affairs and the police. The SAFPS also has a free protective registration service (www.safps. org.za).