Here at Phebys, Chartered Accountants offering financial advice in Huntingdon, we care about you and your money. Identity theft and fraud are becoming an increasing problem and the people behind these crimes are only getting smarter, making it even harder to know if you are properly protecting your money from identity fraud. Phebys is offering you advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or fraud, plus a little advice on what to do if you are so unfortunate as to be subjected to it.
The first thing we can do is be vigilant. Check your bank statements regularly and report any suspicious activity you see to your bank or to the relevant financial service provider. Even if it seems like a small discrepancy, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially as identity fraud remains on the rise. Likewise, be sure to remain vigilant in not leaving bank statements, bill and so on lying around where people could see them.
Be wary of correspondence from your bank
If you receive any unsolicited correspondence, whether that be phone calls, texts, emails, etc., from your bank, building society or credit card provider, be sure that you never reveal your PIN, nor any full passwords, security numbers, login details or account numbers. Your bank will never ask for sensitive information such as your PIN number, nor will it ask for full security numbers or passwords.
If you are ever concerned about a call you receive from your bank, credit card provider or building society, you should end the call, wait five minutes, and then call your bank from a different phone, making sure that you hear a dialling tone.
If you are ever in any doubt about any correspondence that you have received, always contact your bank and never blindly give away personal information, irrespective of how genuine the contact may seem.
Be extra careful if you move to a new house
If you move to a new home, ask Royal Mail to redirect your mail from at least a year. It is particularly helpful in protecting your money from identity fraud if you make sure to check your personal credit file around 2-3 months after your change in address.
If you’re still worried
Just as previously mentioned, the criminals behind identity theft and fraud are only becoming quicker and smarter, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to know exactly what precautions to take in order to avoid becoming the victim of such crimes. If you’re still worried that something will slip past you, there are further measures that you may want to consider. Some credit reference agencies offer credit report checking services that will alert you of any key changes on your credit card file that could point towards potential fraudulent activity. One such agency is Callcredit.
Advice if you become a victim of identity fraud
The most important thing to do if you believe you’ve been a victim of identity fraud is to act quickly. Never ignore the problem. Although it was not you who made those purchases or opened that bank account, it is your name and address that the dates will end up attached to. You must contact your bank as soon as possible, who will then be responsible for investigating the issue and will alert the police to any criminal activity that they may discover. The sooner you report an issue, the greater the chance of it being resolved before you lose out on too much money. Always act quickly.
Financial Advice from Phebys, Accountants in Huntingdon
At Phebys, we know just how much your money matters and we want to help you by protecting your money from identity fraud. To find out about the array of financial advice that we are able to offer, do not hesitate to contact us at our Huntingdon office on 01480 896267, or email email@example.com.