Fraudsters need just three pieces of personal information to steal your identity – and many people are openly displaying this on their Facebook profiles.
A study by consumer credit firm Equifax found that almost a third of adults are publishing their name, date of birth and address on the social media platform.
This is all that scammers need to steal your identity and access your bank accounts, take out loans or take out mobile phones in your name.
The company warned that even if you don’t display your age on your Facebook profile, fraudsters can still work out how old you are from people wishing you well on your timeline. Once they have your date of birth, they can also find out where you live.
South Yorkshire residents are now being urged to review their privacy settings and ensure they are not revealing too much.
John Marsden, head of ID and fraud at Equifax, said: “More adults in the UK are engaging with social media than ever before, especially on their smartphones, and a high number are readily sharing their personal information on these platforms.
“Fraudsters get hold of this type of information so they can impersonate an individual, either by setting up accounts in their name or accessing existing accounts and stealing from them. The extent of damage can run to thousands of pounds worth of debt being racked up in your name. My advice to consumers is to be social savvy; avoid unnecessarily sharing personal details and risking your identity on platforms that can so easily be exploited.”