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Protecting your identity

Protecting your identity involves putting measures in place to keep your personal details secure, as well as knowing what to do if you become the victim of identity fraud.

Identity theft and fraud

Identity theft is when someone steals your personal details - such as your name, government ID, or passport details - in order to commit a crime or fraud.

It often involves someone impersonating you, using your personal information to open bank accounts, withdrawing money from your accounts, or even taking out loans in your name.

Recognizing the signs

It’s important to be alert to the signs of identity theft and fraud. You may find this guide helpful: Beware of scams and fraud

Steps to take if you are a victim of identity theft or fraud

If you are the victim of identity fraud you should report the crime to the police. It may help to obtain a copy of your police report, to give to creditors and credit agencies as evidence of your situation.

You should also consider:

  1. Contacting your bank, and credit card issuer to let them know the situation.
  2. Contacting at least one of the credit reporting agencies and requesting that a 90-day fraud alert is placed on your report.
  3. Contacting the post office if you believe that your mail has been tampered with, intercepted or redirected.
  4. Changing or reviewing any passwords you use to access bank accounts and financial data.
  5. Contacting appropriate government agencies (e.g. tax office).
  6. Changing mobile phone number, if necessary.
HSBC has created the YourMoneyCounts financial wellness program which is presented by HSBC staff to the community in a classroom setting. Participant workbooks covering Budgeting, Credit, and Identity Theft and a budgeting worksheet are found through the YourMoneyCount link above. This program was created in partnership with the national nonprofit Greenpath Financial Wellness,  and they provide free individualized support focused on your personal situation and financial wellness.