Identity Theft

Identity theft or identity frauds are terms used to describe a situation in which personal details have been misappropriated for the use of personal gain.

Your identity and personal information are valuable and criminals could easily find out your personal details and use them to open bank accounts, get credit cards, loans, benefits, passports and driving licenses etc.

To protect yourself from this, Durham Constabulary offer these simple tips:

  • Report lost or stolen documents immediately (passports, driving licenses, cards etc.)
  • Always shred or burn all unwanted bills, statements, or post with your name and address on it. Identity theft is often achieved by taking documents from your rubbish
  • Carefully check your bank or building society statements for unfamiliar transactions and immediately contact the company if there are any discrepancies. This could be a sign that you are a victim of identity crime
  • Obtain a copy of your personal credit file from one of the three credit reference agencies. (If you have moved house recently you should do this two to three months after you have moved and tell your bank and card users immediately that you have moved)
  • If you suspect your mail is being stolen contact the Royal Mail Customer Enquiry Line (08457 740 740) and check whether a re-direction order has been placed without your knowledge. If you move, ask them to re-direct your mail for at least one year
  • Visit for information on how to stay safe when using online facilities for shopping, banking etc. They will also advise you on how to protect your computer and the personal information stored on it
  • If you share accommodation with other people (i.e. flats, shared houses etc.) ensure that your mail is put somewhere secure. You can arrange to collect new credit cards/cheque books yourself from your local bank/building society


Protect the identity of deceased family members by contacting: