Last year, current account fraud surged and new figures from credit reference agency Experian show it’s still the most targeted financial product.
Current account fraud is a gateway to further fradulent activity
Current account fraud not only presents the immediate threat of emptying your overdraft facility, but also often acts as a gateway to further fraudulent activity. Fraudsters can use information gained from a successful attempt to then open other financial products such as loans or credit cards. Use our top tips to beat identity fraud:
How to prevent becoming a victim of ID fraud
- Always shred or destroy documents that contain personal information before throwing them away.
- Never respond to cold phone calls or e-mails asking for account details, PINs, passwords or personal information.
- Don’t give too much away on networking websites. For example, pets’ names or children’s names could be used as password.
- Register to vote at your current address. If you don’t, thieves could use your previous address details to open new credit accounts, and run up debts in your name.
- Monitor your post regularly so you know when to expect important documents — and when to act if they don’t arrive.
- Redirect your mail via the Post Office if you move house.
- Always use secure, unique passwords for as many online accounts as possible, and ideally all of them. At the very least have a unique password for each type of service provider such as financial services, retail services and email.
- Don’t store account names and passwords on your smartphone, either in email, as a note, or to ‘autocomplete’ when you open a website or app. It will be a goldmine for fraudsters if your device is lost or stolen.
- Read all bank and card statements regularly to check for suspicious transactions.
- Check your credit report, because it lists your credit accounts and what you owe, so you can spot applications and spending that are nothing to do with you.
- There are more money-saving tips in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.