Ashes to Ashes and Spooks star, Keeley Hawes, watched life imitate her role in the new ITV drama Identity as she became a victim of identity theft. The plot line of Identity involves an elite police unit that is in charge of crimes related to identity fraud, and the actor himself now is in the same situation after a worker at her home stole her credit cards and proceeded to run up a bill totaling £7,000.
Equifax, the credit agency, stated that personal information is now the most valuable asset in the 21st century scam arsenal. .
Neil Monroe from Equifax stated that a fraudster only needs three pieces of personal information in order to take someone’s identity therefore it is key that people watch their online activity and documents carefully.
ID fraud has even spread as far as Twitter, the popular social networking service, with users sending fake messages after hacking into legitimate accounts. Many politicians and celebrities have fallen victim to this epidemic including Ed Miliband.
In the television show, Hawes plays the lead of the identity unit, DSI Martha Lawson, whose role is to take down imposters.
Monroe continued to say that it is much easier to prevent identity theft than it is to fix it as it can take hundreds of hours and years to clearly fix an individual’s records.
He offered a few measures to protect your identity including keeping your pin safe and varied between cards, updating your virus protection on the PC regularly, and avoiding common verification information such as your mother’s maiden name or date of birth.