What is Identity theft ?It is a term used to refer to fraud that involves stealing money or getting other benefits by pretending to be someone else.How does a criminal get your personal information?This is often done by taking documents from your mail, your rubbish or by making contact with you and pretending to be from a legitimate organisation.Contact may be by telephone or e-mail.What does a criminal do with your personal information? Once a criminal has the information he needs he could, for example:•apply for a credit card in your name; •open a bank account in your name; •apply for a driving licence in your name; •register a vehicle in your name; •apply for a passport in your name; or •apply for a mobile phone contract in your name. How to protect yourself.Shred all personal information before throwing it away in your rubbish. Delete any suspicious emails from organisations requesting personal information from you (banks will never ask for personal details by email). Be extra vigilant when giving out personal information - it's easy for criminals to fakemail addresses, websites, headed paper and other methods of communication. Tell the Correos, if you suspect your mail is going missing. Do not keep all your personal data, particularly passwords and PIN numbers on your laptop or computer. Check your bank accounts frequently to identify any suspect transactions. When dealing with payment on the Internet you should never do business with a site unless it has “secure socket layer” protection. A secure site will begin” htpps://” ,instead of the normal “htpp://”. Protect others by not passing on any personal information on family, friends and neighbours, that you may hold on your computer, such as e-mail address, home address, full names, NIE/NIF numbers etc. Phishing.Phishing works by sending fake emails that seem to come from well-known and well-respected companies such as online banks or internet stores. They will claim that due to security checks or IT failure they have lost your information or that it is no longer secure.They usually provide a link for you to click on and re-enter your bank details or password.Although these scams are getting more sophisticated, they can often be detected.Look for the following:Messages with spelling mistakes are unlikely to be sent out by a legitimate company. If the email message begins with 'Dear shopper' or 'Dear customer' instead of addressing you personally. If the email says that your account will be disabled unless you send your information. Genuine companies would not send this type of message. If you receive a phishing e-mail, report it immediately to your service provider, and bank. What to do if you suspect that you are the victim of Identity Theft.Immediately inform your banks and other financial organizations . Stop your credit cards. Notify the Police.