DON'T LET ANYONE
STEAL YOUR IDENTITY
PROTECT YOUR GOOD NAME
Soccer fever has hit the whole of South Africa.
Mr Ndede (not his real name) had promised his children that
he would buy a television set so that they could watch soccer
together as a family. What he was told when he got to the furniture
store really shocked him.
He could not believe his ears when he was
told that he couldn't get credit as he was blacklisted. This
has happened even though he always made regular payments on
his accounts. He never bought the goods at the store that accused
him of not paying and led to his blacklisting. Mr Ndede was
a victim of identity theft.
It could happen to you too if you lose your ID book or if it
is stolen. The person who finds your ID or steals it could pretend
to be you and steal your good name.
He or she could even steal goods and services by applying for
credit in your name and when these are not paid for, your good
name for credit is affected. Some people have also been victims
of marriage scams. They found out that they had been married
without their knowledge.
Keep documents safe
It is important to protect yourself against
this type of crime by protecting your identity document, driver's
licence, passport and personal information.
Some useful tips
The following tips may help to prevent identity
Keep your ID, passport and driver's
licence in a safe place.
Before you give any personal information,
find out how it will be used and if the information will
be kept confidential.
When you fill in personal details on
documents, make sure the company you are dealing with
Keep a record of your accounts and
follow up if they do not arrive on time.
Guard your mail from theft. Remove
post from your letterbox after it has been delivered.
If you go away from home, ask a neighbour to collect your
post for you.
Carry only necessary information in
your handbag, briefcase, wallet or purse and guard your
ID book, credit card and bank cards.
Do not give personal information on
the phone, through the post or over the Internet, unless
you have started the contact or know the people you are
Keep items with personal information
in a safe place. Tear or shred documents like credit applications,
bank statements and receipts.
Give your ID only when absolutely necessary.
Ask to use other types of identification, when possible.
What to do if your
ID is lost or stolen
Report the theft of your ID at your nearest
police station immediately and get a case number. Police stations
are open 24 hours every day, so you don't have to wait for office
You should also contact the SA Fraud Prevention Service hotline
0860 10 1248, or go to the website and ask them to register
your case. You will be given a protective registration number
to quote when applying for credit in future.
- Capt Tshifhiwa Tshikhudo, SA Police Service