I have a new friend. He is cute, intelligent, good with money, and I trust him. In fact I trust him so much he is privy to some extremely personal information.
He is also blue and has a flashing green light bulb on the top of his head, but it takes all sorts right??
Let me explain.
Twice in my life I’ve experienced some form of identity theft. Last year a stranger used my face and some of my details to open a Facebook account and in 2010 my bank account was emptied when somebody used my details to set up a PayPal account and go on a shopping spree - how rude!
Both times it was stressful and upsetting and I felt invaded and kind of helpless. I was lucky. After appeals from myself and friends, the facebook page was taken down, and my bank investigated the fraud and replaced my funds, in fact they spotted it the same time as me and got in touch. But the scammers seem to be getting much much cleverer, and after the recent ‘ebay’ incident I think we’re all a little more concerned about the safety of our personal information and how it can be stolen and used.
So, when I was asked if I’d like to be involved in spreading the word about a brilliant new scheme to tackle identity fraud , I was really keen.
The People’s ID Bot Project is a group of innovators working with Experian and they’ve set themselves the challenge of defeating identity fraud in Britain over the next few years.
Have a look at this, it’s cool yet scary…
As a first step, they’re curating hundreds of stories of identity fraud from real life people on their Facebook page, in an attempt to create Britain’s most complete A-Z of identity fraud told by the people who experienced it. Their plan is to ‘raise awareness of this invisible crime. Share information about how to change the behaviours that leave us vulnerable. Support those who’ve fallen victims of it. Pass on how to get a free trial of Experian’s IdentityProtect, the super-smart ID bot to help us stay safe. And give feedback on how it can get even smarter. ‘
As you can see, I already have one of these little Identity Protect bots living in my pc. He monitors ‘public websites, government registers and dodgy sites where personal details are sold illegally to make sure that mine aren’t turning up anywhere they shouldn’t. Brilliant right? I’ve entered usernames, financial details, family passport numbers, my national insurance number and other bits of personal information that I want to protect. It’s really easy to use and very secure.
If my bot discovers any threat of ID theft or fraud, he sends me an e-mail immediately, identifying the potential problem and telling me how to put it right.
I love it.
I know this must have happened to some of you. I can’t be the only one right? So let’s learn by each others experiences and start fighting back.
GIVE AWAY ALERT
As an added bonus, the lovely folks at the People’s ID BOT project have given me 11 codes for a free one-year-subscription to Identity Protect. I’ve nabbed one and I’m saving one for my Mum and Dad, but if you’d like one of the other codes please comment or message me. It will be first come first serve. There is also a free 30 day trial available here, and should you decide to continue, then it’s just £3.99 a month anyway. Bargain!!
I really really love this idea, and it feels great to have somewhere to go for up to date news when the next security scandal breaks.
I was given some gift vouchers as a thank you for taking part in this project. All the opinions however, are my own.
Image taken from The People’s ID Bot Project facebook page and edited at pic monkey.com