Protecting your personal information is the key to protecting yourself from identity theft, Manie van Schalkwyk, the executive director of the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS), says.
“Consumers need to be vigilant to minimise the risk of identity theft, and this means protecting personal information,” he says.
If you suspect that you have fallen prey to identity theft or fraud, you are urged to report it to the SAFPS, Van Schalkwyk says. The benefit of doing this is that all SAFPS-member organisations, including the banks, clothing and furniture retailers and some insurance companies, have access to the SAFPS’s database and any identity theft or fraud will be flagged and access to credit can be prevented, he says. “This is a free service, and consumers are encouraged to use it.”
The SAFPS has the following advice for consumers who want to protect their personal information:
- Shred receipts, credit and insurance information, medical records and bank statements, and lock financial documents and other records in a safe place.
- Leave your identity document in a safe place at home. When going out, take only your credit and debit cards and your driver’s licence.
- Before you share information at your workplace, a business, your child’s school, or a doctor’s office, ask why they need it, how they will safeguard it, and the consequences of not sharing.
- Banks will not ask you to verify personal information over the phone or via email. If you receive a phone call or an email asking you to verify information, end the call and phone your bank.
Article credit: http://www.iol.co.za/business/personal-finance/how-to-protect-yourself-from-identity-theft-2054060