Sadly, this kind of thing happens all too frequently. Every day we read stories from people who have fallen victim to identity theft and it’s no longer just about thieves going through your waste paper in the bin looking for something with your name and address on it.
Today, more and more, we are asked to investigate online scams. Scams in which your identity is stolen or hijacked and then used to try and gain money using your name.
We all regularly get the emails purporting to be from your bank or building society and asking if you’ll just log in with all your details to ‘verify’ your account. Very few of us will fall for that scam. But what if you got a Facebook friend request from someone who you knew and thought you were already linked to. Would you check it of just accept it? How would you know if it really was that person or just someone pretending to be that person?
In a recent story covered by the Daily Mail Sandra Howard, wife of the MP Michel Howard suffered just that fate.
Tony Smith, one of our Directors at insight Investigations, was asked to comment on this case.
‘Mostly, these fake accounts are just mischief-making,’
‘The only way to prevent your image being used in this way is to never have it appear on the internet in the first place.’
‘You’d have to have no cyber footprint at all — no social media accounts, no pictures attached to any business, club, sports team or school.
You would have to avoid your name and photograph ever appearing online.’
Of course, this is almost impossible these days and so, as a consequence, no one is immune to this sort of threat.
Tony’s advice to everyone — famous or not — is to Google yourself regularly. Type in your name, email address and numbers and see what comes up. If you find anything that looks out of place or suspicious don’t hesitate, do something about it. The longer it is left unchecked then the harder it can be to remedy the situation.
If you have found your identity hijacked and you want professional help in removing it then Tony is an expert in this type of investigation and we are more than happy to help. Just call us on the number at the top of the page and we will start the process of restoring your life back to normal.