Identity theft can be detrimental when someone access essential elements of a person's identifying information in order to commit fraud or theft.
It is therefore important to recognise, prevent and resolve identity theft to protect yourself.
Identity theft happens when someone steals your identity and impersonates you in order to open credit accounts, rent apartments, even engage in criminal acts. You don't know when it happens. Then one day you are turned down unexpectedly for a loan, you get a call from a collection agency about an account you never opened, or worse yet, a call from the police about a crime you didn't commit. Suddenly you are a victim of identity theft.
Criminals steal personal information, such as Identity Card numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card numbers, ATM cards, and other key pieces of individuals' identities. They use this stolen information to impersonate their victims, spending as much money as they can in as short a time as possible before moving on to their next victim.
Identity thieves use a variety of ways to gain access to this personal information including:
Once the thief has access to this information, they may open a new credit card account in your name providing a "new" billing address. Given that the credit card bills will not go to your address, chances are, you will not be aware of the new account. When the thief does not pay the bills, the credit card company will report this to your credit file. The thief may also open up bank accounts in your name and write bad cheques, apply for services in your name or request a "replacement" card to be sent to a new address.
Prevention is the first step in battling identity theft. To minimize the risk of someone stealing your identity and the pain of cleaning up the aftermath.
Listed below are some useful guidelines you can adopt:
Taking quick action can help overcome some of the difficulties cause by identity theft. We suggest you make a report to local authorities immediately to report any identity theft. In addition, if you are a HSBC credit cardholder, call 1-300-88-1727 / 603-8321-5400 to report any lost/stolen HSBC credit cards immediately.
Your credit card is as good as cash. Be careful about how and when you use your credit cards. You need to protect it.
Here are some tips to maximize credit card security and minimize your risk.
If your credit card is lost or stolen or there are unauthorised transactions requiring PIN or signature or use of contactless card charged to credit card, you must:
You are not required to pay the disputed card transactions pending completion of the Bank’s investigation. You shall not be liable for the disputed card transaction unless if it is found that you have acted fraudulently or have delayed in notifying the Bank as soon as reasonably practicable after having discovered the loss/theft of the credit card(s) or of the unauthorised transaction(s) on the credit card(s) or voluntarily disclosed the PIN or allowed another person to use the credit card or recorded the PIN and kept it in close proximity with the credit card which could be lost or stolen together with the credit card or left the credit card unattended, in places visible and accessible to others.