A detective who investigates economic crime has been the victim of identity theft.
Det Con Tony McClements, of Lancashire Police, found his identity was stolen after going online.
"I had a standing order running for a credit card for 12 months until I realised it wasn't something I set up," he said.
"It took an awful long time to get to the bottom of the problem," Mr McClements added.
He said: "I managed to recover the money from the credit card company but it took an awful lot of letter writing and telephoning."
In a bid to prevent other people falling victim to identity theft, Mr McClements advised extra vigilance.
Shredding correspondence that is being disposed, especially utility bills and statements. Try to use a cross-cut shredder as these are more secure than straight shredders.
Check credit card and banks statements regularly for any unidentified transactions.
If shopping online, he advised using a credit card and be wary of emails purporting to be from a bank or credit card company that ask for private details for security checks. Never input your PIN number online or give it out over the telephone.