Complacency means identity fraud continues to rise
National Identity Fraud Prevention Week
Monday marked the start of this years’ National Identity Fraud Prevention Week. With the subject of identity fraud in the media on such a regular basis you’d have thought the UK population would be both aware of the threat and the risks but also be taking steps to protect their identities.
However research commissioned by Fellowes found although 95% of the UK population are now aware of identity fraud, the number of victims is still rising. 7% of the UK population have been victims of identity fraud, equating to over 4 million people. The average cost of these incidents to each victim is £1,190, but some individuals have lost up to £9,000.
Statistics from CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, support this research; reporting that the number of identity fraud cases declared to the authorities in the UK continue to rise, with over 80,000 reported in the UK so far this year.
CPP’s tips to help prevent identity fraud:
- If you've moved house recently make sure you instruct the Post Office to redirect your mail to your new address for at least a year. Notify your credit card company, bank, and any other organisations that you deal with as soon as possible.
- Make sure you shred any discarded bills, statements, wage slips or even junk mail that contain your name and address.
- Opt out of having your details available on the edited electoral roll can help to keep your details safe.
- Don't let your debit/credit cards out of sight.
- When online never type credit card numbers, passwords, or any other confidential information into a web site unless its address begins with https and the browser displays the "closed padlock" symbol.
- Register payment cards Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode. It adds another layer to online security and makes it harder to fall victim to online fraud.
- Avoid carrying out transactions on public or shared computers.
- Also always check receipts against bank statements and contact their bank if concerned.
- When posting information on a social networking site, or your CV on a jobsite, don't include personal details such as your home address and date of birth.
- To protect yourself from online fraud make sure your antivirus software subscription is up to date, and that your computer is configured to automatically download and install any updates.
- Never write down your PIN or passwords as they can be used by criminals to commit acts of ID fraud.
- It is a good idea to vary your PINs and passwords, so that if you do happen to lose your wallet, it will be much harder for the PINs to be cracked.
- Understanding your credit report is really important. It's one of the best ways to determine whether identity fraud has been committed against you.
- Be wary of unsolicited telephone calls from banks, credit card companies and other retailers or financial organisations.
- You should never click on a link in an email from a company you don't recognised or one asking for your personal information. 'Phishing' is an email scam where a fraudster tries to trick you into disclosing personal details.
You might also be interested in using our free online risk assessment tool to help you assess if you might have been a victim of identity fraud and give you advice on what you can do to reduce your risk.
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