According to the UK’s fraud protection service CIFAS, 80% of all identity fraud in the first three months of last year was attempted or perpetrated online, with many of us unwittingly leaving ourselves exposed.
Follow our top tips to make sure you don’t become the fraudsters’ next victim…
1 - Regularly change your passwords:
If you’ve stuck with the same online password for years because it’s easy to remember, you’re making life easier for fraudsters – especially if you use the same password for every online destination that needs one.
Regularly changing your passwords and using different ones for different sites will make it much harder for crooks to crack your code.
2 - Keep your PIN safe:
Whatever you do, don't write down your PIN and keep it in your wallet. If you do, and a fraudster gets hold of it, you’ll be liable for any losses because you’ve been negligent.
If you must write it down, keep it under lock and key somewhere no-one else can find it.
3 - Clear out your bag:
If your wallet or bag is stuffed full of receipts and other paperwork with personal details on, it could prove disastrous if you lose it or it is stolen.
Get into the habit of clearing out your wallet or bag every week, so that you aren’t carrying anything around that reveals personal information.
4 - Shred documents:
If you haven’t got one already, invest in a shredder and shred any documents with your name, address or financial details on, before throwing them away.
Thieves are known to go through bins looking for personal information they can use to create fake accounts.
5 - Check your bank statements:
Go through your bank statements with a fine-tooth comb – it’s one of the best ways to spot if anyone’s got hold of your financial details.
Cross off any transactions you’ve made against receipts, and if you spot anything suspicious, speak to your bank immediately.