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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Reservation of the PESEL number. Changes from June 1

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From June 1, 2024, financial institutions in Poland will be obliged to check the customer's PESEL number before granting a loan or signing a loan agreement. – By reserving the PESEL number, we limit the possibility of identity theft, money theft, and in extreme cases even real estate theft – explains Piotr Konieczny from the Niebezpiecznik portal in an interview with the business editorial team of tvn24.pl.

– We have an important change in regulations ahead of us – announced Krzysztof Gawkowski, Minister of Digital Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister in the government at the end of May Donald Tusk. – Loan fraud is a plague that increases year by year and month by month – he added.

What did the government propose? In November last year, the Ministry of Digital Affairs introduced the “Zastrzeż PESEL” service. From January, you can do it yourself in the MObywatel application. Now we are facing another version of this program – 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.

– If our PESEL number is restricted, fraudsters should not be able to use our data to conclude a contract, e.g. for a loan. 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 – explained Gawkowski.

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Agnieszka Wachnicka, vice-president of the Polish Bank Association, added in an interview with TVN24 that if the bank checks that the PESEL number is confidential, such an agreement will not be concluded at all.

It is necessary to reserve the PESEL numberTVN24

Why is it worth registering your PESEL number?

– I am a great enthusiast of this solution, we have been applying for it for years – says Piotr Konieczny from the online security portal Niebezpiecznik.pl. – Many companies in Poland believe that only the owner knows his PESEL number and no one else, but this number is available in many places, it can be checked, e.g. in the National Court Register. Fraudsters who want to harm someone can easily gain access to this information. Fortunately, from tomorrow, knowing the PESEL number will not allow many attacks – explains Konieczny.

This safeguard can be useful in a variety of situations. Konieczny lists several of them: – There were situations where someone came to a notary with a forged ID. If we reserve our PESEL number, such a person will not be able to make a real estate sale transaction on our behalf, because the notary must also verify whether the PESEL number is reserved – he explains.

From Friday you will be able to reserve your PESEL number

From Friday you will be able to reserve your PESEL numberTVN24

– The institutions that will have to check PESEL in the register also include mobile operators. It will not be possible to obtain a duplicate SIM card with a reserved PESEL number. Such duplicates were used by fraudsters to take over access to electronic banking – explains Konieczny.

Since the reservation allows you to protect yourself against fraudsters, the ministry encourages you to reserve your PESEL number permanently, just in case, waiving the protection only when you have a matter to deal with for which you will need the number.

– One inconvenience is the need to withdraw the PESEL reservation if we actually want to take out a loan, pay an amount higher than three minimum wages or open a bank account – points out Konieczny. – If someone gets lost and remembers about it only at the window, they will not be able to settle the matter immediately, because the grace period before unblocking is 12 hours. It is also a form of security, explains the expert.

Not only for seniors

PESEL can be registered at the commune office or online – in the mObywatel 2.0 application or on the mObywatel.gov.pl website. From June 1, the number will also be blocked automatically when we report a lost or stolen ID card. Restricting your PESEL number is free of charge, as is withdrawing the restriction. There is no need to give a reason.

But this solution is not very popular yet. Data from the ministry show that PESEL has so far been registered by 2.7 million citizens, including only over 700,000. elderly people. That's 10 percent. all seniors, who are one of the groups most exposed to fraudsters. – Older people are most vulnerable to these extortions and frauds. The solution presented by the Ministry of Digitization is one of the best safety valves – emphasized Marzena Okła-Drewnowicz, Minister for Senior Policy.

Read also: Restricting your PESEL number. Everything you need to know >>>

To convince older people to reserve their PESEL number, the ministry hired famous actors: Ewa Ziętek and Daniel Olbrychski, who act as ambassadors of the campaign. – I was exposed to extortion and fraud myself. And I know stories from my surroundings that people paid a lot of money. Don't expose yourself to this, said Ziętek. And Olbrychski declared that he would reserve his PESEL number “today”.

– The Ministry directs the campaign primarily to older people, but age, weight, eye or skin color are not important from the point of view of cheaters. For their own good, both older and young people should reserve PESEL – summarizes Piotr Konieczny. Did he reserve his PESEL number himself? – Of course. I was one of the first people in Poland to do it – he sums up.

Author:Natalia Szostak/ToL

Main photo source: fizkes/Shutterstock

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