Advice about burglaries and identity fraud

The police are reporting increases in burglaries from sheds and garages, as well as increases in identity fraud. They are providing advice about what to do to reduce problems.

Burglaries from sheds and garages

There have been a number of burglaries in the East Meon and Clanfield areas recently, with thieves taking things from garages and sheds. The Police advise everyone to make sure that your garages and shed are locked and secure. If you have anything of value in these buildings take extra care to secure them within the building so that it makes things difficult to remove: perhaps chaining a number of items together or securing them to the floor. The Police also adviser people to take pictures of items, to consider installing alarms and to consider registering with “Immobilse” as this will help Police to return found items to the rightful owners.

Protection from identity fraud

The Police say that UK’s leading fraud prevention service, Cifas, is warning of record rises in the levels of identity fraud reported in the first six months of 2017. Cifas says “a record 89,000 identity frauds were recorded, up 5 per cent from last year. 83 per cent of identity frauds were perpetrated online.”

Hampshire Police reports around 500 cases to Cifas each month, mostly from businesses. They provide these 10 tips:

Tip 1: Shred documents, don’t just bin.

Tip 2: Be careful what you put on social media. Check privacy settings and never post your date of birth or full address. Be cautious.

Tip 3: Check your bank statements regularly. Look for any suspicious transactions. If you find any then report to your bank immediately.

Tip 4: Use a different complex password for each online account. 10+ mixed characters, or better still, use a passphrase only you will know.

Tip 5: Use anti-virus on all your devices and update whenever prompted to do so.

Tip 6: Use credit reference agencies (such as Experian or Equifax) to monitor for any unexpected changes. If you see anything suspicious, report these concerns to your bank, police or Action Fraud.

Tip 7: Never share your PINs or passwords with anyone, and don’t write them down. Use a secure password app or encrypt them.

Tip 8: If you are getting rid of old computers, destroy the hard drive – take a hammer to it – don’t just bin it.

Tip 9: Hampshire Police can help people protect their businesses against identity fraud. Get in touch to arrange a talk from one of their cyber specialists. Click here to visit their website for details of how to contact us.

Tip 10: For more information about how your business can report fraud, please visit this page on the Action Fraud website and you can click here to download and print an infographic from Action Fraud as a reminder of key advice.