Identity theft

Always be vigilant about your identity. Your credit history is probably the greatest determinant as to whether you can purchase a house (or car, or get phone service, or insurance … ).

This is the story of a piece of paper no bigger than a credit card, thrown away in a dustbin on the Heathrow Express to Paddington station. It was nestling among chewing gum wrappers and baggage tags, cast off by some weary traveller, when I first laid eyes on it just over a month ago. … I picked up the stub, mindful of a conversation I had had with a computer security expert two months earlier, and put it in my pocket.

If the expert was right, this stub would enable me to access (the traveler’s)  personal information, including his passport number, date of birth and nationality. It would provide the building blocks for stealing his identity, ruining his future travel plans – and even allow me to fake his passport.

From this weekend’s Guardian. I have been lucky so far to have had neither my nor clients who have had their identity stolen.

There have been reports of identity thieves using vacant houses in the area to have their stolen identities’ good delivered to. The crooks will steal someone’s identity, buy merchandise and have it delivered to vacant houses.

It’s not paranoia if they really are out to get you. More information on identity theft can be found here.

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