Stay Safe Online.


VIP Member
How bad is identity fraud?

In 2006, a government estimate put the cost of ID theft at £1.7bn a year. In 2007 Cifas - the UK's fraud prevention service - helped more than 65,000 victims of ID fraud and theft.

Fraudsters use personal details to gain access to bank accounts, run up bills, launder money, create false documents such as passports or birth certificates and carry out benefit fraud.

The consequences can be very distressing and a headache for victims to sort out.

While you will not normally be liable for the stolen money, credit reference agency Equifax estimates it can take up to 300 hours to resolve one case.

1) My bank has sent me an e-mail, asking me to update security details - what should I do?

Ignore it and delete it.

If you receive an e-mail purporting to be from your bank or credit card provider which asks you to update your details, it is very likely to be a "phishing" scam.

Anyone falling for the scam will let fraudsters can gain access to their bank accounts or use them to launder money.

It is important to remember that your bank will never ask for your log in and password by e-mail. Many explicitly say so on their banking websites - after all the bank already has these details and does not need them. By contrast the fraudsters do not have them and want them.

If in doubt, call the bank.

2) I've got an e-mail from a friend with an attachment but it's not the type of message they usually send. What should I do?

Ignore it and delete it. Many hi-tech criminals still use e-mail to try to catch people out. Many of the messages they send play on current events or subjects of prurient interest to get people opening them up.

The attachment could well be booby-trapped with a malicious program that aims to infiltrate your computer and lie in wait to gather data when you visit an online bank or login to an online game.

If you are not sure most anti-virus programs allow users to scan attachments and other documents before opening them. However, this check is not infallible because there are so many viruses and variants now in circulation.

The vast majority of security threats are aimed at Microsoft's Windows and its other programs. Advice from security firms is to ensure that, if you use Microsoft software, ensure it is updated as soon as security fixes are available. Some advise users to consider using non-Microsoft programs for web browsing, e-mail and other day-to-day tasks.

3) Am I safe if I avoid sites dealing in p*rnography, pirated media, cracks for games and gambling?

Not necessarily. It used to be the case that anyone visiting such sites was at far greater risk of falling victim to an attack.
Buy now button, SPL

However, in recent months hi-tech criminals have put a lot of effort into subverting popular sites with a good reputation.

Scammers often inject booby-trapped adverts onto such sites or get at the website code to install malicious programs that infect every visitor.

Web users can reduce the chance of being caught out by making sure they use the latest version of their web browser of choice and using security software that keeps an eye on them while they browse.

4) A pop-up advert tells me that my computer is riddled with spyware. What should I do?

Ignore the advert and close the pop-up page. Many scammers are turning to fake tools that warn about non-existent problems on a PC.

At best when installed these machines will nag users until they pay for some useless security software. At worst they will be completely fake and simply steal saleable data. It is better to stick with one security software suite than it is to get bits and bobs from here and there.

5) How can I safeguard my personal documents?

Although the rise of ID fraud is very alarming, there are steps you can take to try to protect yourself.

Carelessly discarding personal details is an easy way to become a victim.

Criminal gangs have been known to employ homeless people to search through rubbish bins for financial records and identity documents.

The number one tip from experts is that all documents containing personal information and financial transactions should be either ripped up or shredded before they are thrown out.

Destroying evidence should also extend to direct mailings or any documentation that contains your name and address, experts advise.

Electric shredders can be purchased for as little as £15 and can help take some of the hassle out of destroying documents.

6) How can I keep my passwords safe?

Experts urge people not to write down their passwords and pin numbers and not to disclose them to anyone.

They also suggest people should steer clear of using obvious passwords, such as a mother's maiden name or date of birth.

Some security firms offer programs known as a "password safe", which let users keep a secure record of important logins on their computer.

It is also worth using what is known as a "strong" password. This is one that is not easily guessed or would take a long time for a computer to work out. Instead of being words it could be a random combination of letters, numbers and symbols.

7) What if I am a victim?

Act quickly and notify the credit provider straight away. It is also important to report it as a crime to the police and request a crime number.

Industry body Cifas advises victims to keep a record of everything, as recovering from identity theft can be a long and complicated process.

Cifas also advises all letters should be sent by recorded or special delivery and for people to keep track of how much time they spend dealing with the problem.

Victims of identity fraud or people who are concerned they could become a victim because they have had important documents stolen, can apply for extra protection through Cifas' Protective Registration Service.

It costs £11.75 and places a warning on credit files. This should ensure that if anyone applies for credit under your name, further identity checks are made.


VIP Member
Cheers dan (y)

A girl in work got an email from one of the Irish banks today.

It was`nt her bank & she asked me what the story was?

I told her not to open it & delete it as she has never had any dealings with this bank in her life.


Super Moderator
Staff member
TK Supporter
We have been getting emails from supposedly an Irish bank also, my husband is with this bank, and they have been giving warnings all the time. The emails are coming in both our email addresses I'm not even a member with this bank lol. I delete them immediatly and we have told the bank.
I opened the first one we recieved and it was stating that you will get a new card in post but before that they needed all details and numbers etc. Yeah right, but what about the poor person that gives these details ?