Action Fraud - the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime - has received reports from victims who have been contacted by fraudsters claiming to be the police/parking authorities.
The communications inform the recipient that they have been spotted parking illegally and have to pay a fine.
The scam also includes victims receiving penalty notices for hired vehicles contracted in their names. In most of these cases the victim’s identity has been stolen.
Action Fraud advise anyone who believes their details may have been compromised to report the incident to Action Fraud via www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud where they can receive a police crime reference number.
They have also issued the following guide to avoiding identity theft and identity fraud.
Identity theft happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased.
If you’re a victim of identity theft, it can lead to fraud that can have a direct impact on your personal finances and could also make it difficult for you to obtain loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is resolved.
Identity fraud can be described as the use of that stolen identity in criminal activity to obtain goods or services by deception.
Fraudsters can use your identity details to:
Open bank accounts.
Obtain credit cards, loans and state benefits.
Order goods in your name.
Take over your existing accounts.
Take out mobile phone contracts.
Obtain genuine documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.
Stealing an individual’s identity details does not, on its own, constitute identity fraud. But using that identity for any of the above activities does.
The first you know of it may be when you receive bills or invoices for things you haven’t ordered, or when you receive letters from debt collectors for debts that aren’t yours.