Identity Fraud and Identity Theft in the UK, you next?

identity theft and fraudThere was quite a surprise in my latest Vodafone mobile bill. Two new accounts had been created and during almost a month they had incurred over £800 of charges.
After a short while on the phone with customer service, Vodafone quickly assured me that I would not see any of the charges on my bank statement.
It was almost too easy to get cleared from the charges and this to me seems to suggest that it is a frequent occurrence.
This happened just 2 days after a suspicious courier required my signature for a “signed delivery”. The courier looked very amateur and when I asked who the delivery was from he did not know.
The delivery turned out to be a just a random advertisement so obviously the person was collecting signatures. I’m really glad I put down a phony signature that cannot be used.
To be on the safe side I reported these two incidents to the local police station. It is good to have a crime reference number in case of some later complications.
Reporting the first incident took around 1 hour. Reporting the second incident took an amazing 3 hours because two separate crime reports had to be filed as the two different frauds occurred in two different police wardens.
CIFAS is a fraud prevention service in the UK. The CIFAS web site contains useful advise on how to prevent identity fraud and theft and what to do if you are a victim.