We all have a unique identity, but what makes up our identity? Is it:
- the name or nickname we’re known by.
- where we live.
- the place we’re from.
- our age.
- our date of birth.
- our star sign.
- our hobbies.
- our clothes.
- our football team.
- the films, books or television programs we like.
- the things we do, people we know, places we go.
- the friends we speak to.
- the family or people we contact in case of emergency?
What really defines you?
Banks, mobile phone operators and other organisations use personal information to identify you. This is usually cross-referenced with passwords and/or a personal identification number (your PIN) to make sure that you are who you say you are.
How easily can people find out key information about you?
Fraudsters try to find out information so that they can pretend to be you and carry out illegal activities in your name. Methods they can use include:
- Sending emails pretending to be from a bank or other organisation and asking you to send them information (or enter it into a form) that they then use to take money from your bank account or to set up another account in your name.
- Befriending you in Internet chat rooms and asking you innocent-sounding questions that they can piece together to get a fuller picture about you.
- Getting you to download programmes to your computer that then spy on you by capturing information when you make an online payment, use social media or register for online services.
- Fitting equipment to cashpoint machines that steal your card details and spy on you as you enter your PIN.
- Telephoning you and asking you to send them your bankcard and your PIN.
- Distracting you at a cashpoint so you turn away as your money comes out of the machine or looking over your shoulder at a cashpoint machine to get your PIN and then stealing your card to access your money.
- Trawling social media sites e.g. Facebook, Twitter for information that hasn’t been protected with privacy settings.
- Searching the Internet for information about people e.g. Google searches.
This Drama activity Who Are You To A Stranger? looks at how fraudsters can change their identity to steal yours.