10 ways to beat identity theft

10 ways to beat identity theft
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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

  1. Always shred or destroy documents that contain personal information before throwing them away.
  2. Never respond to cold phone calls or e-mails asking for account details, PINs, passwords or personal information.
  3. Don’t give too much away on networking websites. For example, pets’ names or children’s names could be used as password.
  4. 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.
  5. Monitor your post regularly so you know when to expect important documents — and when to act if they don’t arrive.
  6. Redirect your mail via the Post Office if you move house.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Read all bank and card statements regularly to check for suspicious transactions.
  10. 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.