What can someone do with your personal information?

(hint A whole lot. And they don’t need much to do it)

Once a criminal has the information they need, they could:

  • apply for a credit card in your name
  • open a bank or building society account in your name
  • apply for other financial services in your name
  • run up debts (e.g. use your credit/debit card details to make purchase) or obtain a loan in your name
  • apply for any benefits in your name (e.g. housing benefit, new tax credits, income support, job seeker’s allowance, child benefit)
  • apply for a driving licence in your name
  • register a vehicle in your name
  • apply for a job/employment in your name
  • apply for a passport in your name
  • apply for a mobile phone contract in your name.

Many of these actions and applications don’t take much personal information to complete. Sometimes the details on a simple electricity bill can be enough. Every document containing any form of personally identifiable information should be properly destroyed when its no longer needed. It’s not worth the risk.