Identity theft is Britain's fastest-growing white-collar crime, increasing at nearly 500% a year.
Identity theft happens in a number of ways from a thief simply stealing your credit card and using it to apply for store cards in your name. To full on identity fraud were the thief will attempt to get a passport and driving license in your name open a bank account take out loans, credit cards even mortgages non of which will ever be repaid.
This will severely affect your credit rating until you can have the negative information removed from your credit report.
The process of clearing your name can take months to be fully investigated hours & hours of your time to sort out not to mention the embarrassment that you can be put in as many people do not realise there a victim until they are turned down for loan at their bank or refused an mobile phone and other goods in store.
There are a number of things you can do to stop yourself becoming a victim these including not throwing out statements unless they have been shredded, Staying extra vigilant on who you give sensitive information to, If you use online banking make sure you have a good security package installed and that the software is kept updated. Some people are even choosing to sign up to one off the identity protection programs offered by the credit reference agencies.