Identity theft

Identity theft has become a growing concern within financial services and poses an increasing threat to investors, including individual shareholders who are at particular risk from this type of fraud.

Criminals may steal your personal information, putting your shareholding at risk. You may therefore wish to take the following precautions:

  • Ensure that all of your share certificates are kept securely in a safe place or hold your shares electronically in CREST via a nominee
  • Keep all correspondence from the Registrars which shows your shareholder reference number securely in a safe place, or destroy correspondence by shredding. You should only divulge your shareholder reference number if requested to do so by the Registrars or by an appropriate professional adviser (eg your stockbroker or solicitor) 
  • If you use the Registrars’ services via their website, you should ensure that your username and password are kept confidential at all times. Never respond to an email asking you to disclose your online password information 
  • If you change address, please inform the Registrars. If you receive a letter from the Registrars regarding a change of address and have not recently moved, please contact them immediately as you may be a victim of identity theft
  • Make sure that you know when the Company pays its dividends and consider having them paid directly into your bank or building society account through BACS, if you have not already done so. This will reduce the risk of your cheque being intercepted or lost in the post. If you change your bank or building society account, please inform the Registrars of the details of your new account. If, for example, a dividend payment or share certificate is late, please telephone the Registrars immediately and check the address to which it has been sent. Please respond to any letters that the Registrars send you about any of these issues 
  • If you are buying or selling shares, only deal with brokers registered in your country of residence or the UK
  • The Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance Service (Cifas) offers a Protective Registration service for those concerned about the risk of identity theft. The service aims to prevent an individual's name and address from being used fraudulently to obtain credit or other products and services. For further information please vists: www.cifas.org.uk/pr