Identity fraud is when a criminal dishonestly impersonates another individual to their financial benefit.
Identity fraud is often associated with credit card fraud.
Criminals obtain personal information about a cardholder, for example from bank statements and credit card bills they have found in a bin, and use this to get access to their bank account, to take out credit cards and loans in their name or buy things over the internet or phone.
Identity fraudsters also go to some lengths to get hold of personal information – including calling people pretending to be from their bank and sending out emails designed to look like they come from your bank requesting information.
The UK card association APACS has produced this guide to keeping your card safe www.cardwatch.org.uk.
Experts recommend that people who fear they have been a victim of identity fraud should check their credit file using a credit ratings agency like Equifax, Experian or MyCallcredit.