Almost a million people have already registered their PESEL number. – Poland’s national sport is that we do not read the small print, we do not read contracts with understanding, we do not verify them with lawyers or we recklessly share a lot of data by clicking on dangerous links – emphasizes Katarzyna Kujawa in an interview with the business editorial office of tvn24.pl, lawyer from the Rynkowski law firm. – However, we must remember that criminals and hackers are always one step ahead of us – he warns.
According to the information provided to the tvn24.pl business editorial office by the Ministry of Digitization, as of December 14 this year, 906,800 people had registered their PESEL number.
The possibility of blocking the PESEL number is provided for in the Act amending certain acts in order to limit certain effects of identity theft.
– The scale of enforcing obligations that are time-barred or not due at all has become such a big problem that those in power have finally noticed it – says Katarzyna Kujawa, a lawyer from the Rynkowski law firm, in an interview with the business editorial team of tvn24.pl.
– They also saw the scale of fraud using methods such as that of a policeman on a grandson, and how vulnerable we are to theft. After all, it affects millions of people, he says.
Reserved PESEL number. “Criminals and hackers are always one step ahead of us”
Katarzyna Kujawa points out that “since November 17, nearly a million people have decided to reserve their PESEL number, but the most important thing is that we are careful anyway.”
– Poland’s national sport is that we do not read the small print, we do not read contracts with understanding, we do not verify them with lawyers or we recklessly share a lot of data by clicking on dangerous links – emphasizes the lawyer.
Being careful is important for several reasons. – From June 2024, banks will be obliged to check in the database whether our PESEL is confidential. Currently, this is not obligatory – he explains.
– Also from June 2024, this obligation will fall on notaries and telecommunications companies. This will protect us against the possibility of extorting money using our data, taking out a loan, and in the future, illegally transferring the property or issuing a duplicate SIM card. However, we must remember that criminals and hackers are always one step ahead of us – warns Kujawa.
When will blocking your PESEL number not help us?
To this question, the lawyer replies that “restricting the PESEL number will not affect the fact that someone can steal our bank details and make a transfer.” – The act states that only cash withdrawals at a bank branch are secured, up to three times the minimum wage – he adds.
What situations may arise? – The girl wanted to get a loan from a parabank, but she did not receive it. Instead, she took advantage of a loan offered by someone on social media by sending a scan of her ID card. After a few months, she was contacted by a car rental company. It turned out that a car had been rented using her personal details. There was an accident and she was asked to pay approximately PLN 20,000, our interlocutor describes.
According to Katarzyna Kujawa, you can block your PESEL number, but if someone has your personal data, they can still open accounts on websites or applications that involve some financial obligations.
– These can be, for example, accounts on a popular auction website, or in companies that rent cars for minutes or in transport applications. Let’s be very careful when it comes to sharing our personal data, including the PESEL number, but also when sharing payment card details or making various verification transfers. And even for potentially small amounts, such as one zloty or one grosz, he says.
He adds that during the holiday season you need to be especially careful about this, because there are increased phishing campaigns on popular shopping and auction websites. – For example, we receive an SMS stating that we have to pay two zlotys extra for the shipment. We click on the link and lose money in the bank – emphasizes Katarzyna Kujawa.
Main photo source: Margy Crane/Shutterstock