Identity theft and identity fraud are separate crimes that are commonly confused.
Identity theft is when a fraudster steals personal details, including credit card details, national insurance number, driving licence, usernames, and passwords for online accounts with the intent of posing as the individual.
People can obtain this information through various methods, such as:
- Intercepting mail
- A stolen wallet
- Phishing emails
- Hacking your computer through an unsafe internet connection
Identity fraud is using this stolen information to commit a crime, either by purchasing goods with a stolen credit card or applying for credit in someone else’s name.
It’s important to monitor your credit report for unrecognised transactions. Be sure to dispute any information you don’t recognise with Equifax.
Take a look at our tips on the Identity Fraud and Theft section of our FAQs.