In Poland, every 40 minutes someone tries to extort money using a stolen identity. The minister showed how to prevent this

Protect your PESEL against fraudsters.  Important changes enter into force on June 1

Today, the Ministry of Digitization announced the introduction of a new service “Zastrzeż PESEL”, aimed at protecting citizens' personal data against fraudsters. Since its implementation on November 17 last year, over 2.7 million Poles have already used the service.

More and more people fall victim to fraudsters who use our personal data to, for example, take out a loan. To prevent this, on November 17 last year The Ministry of Digitization has introduced the “Zastrzeż PESEL” service, thanks to which citizens can secure their personal data. Since then, over 2.7 million people have registered their PESEL number. However, from June 1, 2024, all financial institutions will have to check the PESEL Number Objection Register before they grant someone a loan or sign a contract.

I encourage everyone to reserve their PESEL number. This can be done quickly and conveniently via the website, the mObywatel application or at the office. This reservation can be withdrawn at any time – said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Affairs Krzysztof Gawkowski during a press conference.

The Minister of Digitization emphasized that the restriction of the PESEL number is intended to increase the protection of personal data and prevent their unauthorized use. With the number of identity theft cases on the rise, this is a step that can protect citizens from serious financial and legal consequences. During the conference, we learned that every 40 minutes in Poland there is an attempt to extort a loan or other financial abuse using stolen personal data.

A way to protect yourself against cybercrime

Currently, it is the victim of identity theft who must prove that he or she was not the one who incurred the legal or financial obligation. The new regulations will change this situation. If a citizen reserves his PESEL number and at that time someone incurs a liability, the financial institution will not be able to demand from that person, for example, repayment of the debt.

When our PESEL is confidential, fraudsters should not be able to use our data to conclude a contract, e.g. for loans. From June 1, 2024, citizens with a restricted PESEL number who fall victim to fraud and someone takes out a loan using their data will not have to repay such a loan. – emphasized the minister.

The solution presented by the Ministry of Digitization is one of the best safety valves. So far, only over seven hundred thousand elderly people have registered their PESEL number, i.e. about ten percent of all seniors – added Marzena Okła-Drewnownicz, Minister of Senior Policy.

Why is it worth registering your PESEL number and how to do it?

New regulations protect people with a restricted PESEL number against financial fraud. If a loan is taken out on a restricted number, the responsibility for repayment rests with the institution that did not check the register. PESEL reservation can be easily performed, among others: via the mObywatel application. You may also revoke your disclaimer at any time, permanently or for a specified period of time. These changes increase the security of your personal data and protect against identity theft.

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