Equifax highlights the importance of staying vigilant on ID Fraud Day
London, May 2014 – In recognition of ID Fraud Day on 20th May 2014 – which is part of National Scams Awareness Month - ID fraud expert, Equifax, is providing useful tips for consumers to help them protect themselves against identity theft. With CIFAS, the UK’s Fraud Prevention Service, recently* revealing that over 60% of frauds recorded on their database in 2013 were the result of the abuse of identity details, Andrew Webb, head of Equifax Personal Solutions believes consumers need to be more aware of the risks. In particular he is urging the smartphone generation to think carefully about the personal information they keep on their devices.
“Mobiles, smartphones and tablet devices have become the equivalent of our diary, address book and general aide memoire”, said Andrew Webb. “And whilst that’s good news for staying organised it does also mean that if a mobile device is stolen, a lot of valuable information could immediately fall into the hands of fraudsters who, without too much effort, can steal personal or business identities.
“Smart fraudsters can quickly go through a phone list to spot numbers that clearly aren’t telephone numbers – such as PINs and payment card numbers. They can also look at a diary to get clues about names used for passwords and might even be able to identify which bank or credit cards a victim uses by the apps stored on a smartphone, which could then help them find other clues to account numbers and PINs. It can almost be like a ‘genie’s lamp’ with a wealth of treasures there for the taking.
“It’s also a concern that many people still don’t realise how easy it is for fraudsters to use the personal information available on social networking sites to steal their identity and open accounts in their name.
“It’s important to understand the value of your private information and take precautions to keep ID fraud at bay because fraudsters can need as little as three pieces of personal data to begin fraudulent activity.”
Equifax also urges consumers to regularly monitor their credit report for any changes to accounts or new accounts they didn’t authorise, and to help protect their personal information online with Equifax WebDetect. The 24/7 ID monitoring service helps enable consumers to keep one step ahead of fraudsters by alerting them to potential unauthorised trading of their personal information. WebDetect is free for customers purchasing a subscription to their Equifax Credit Report or Credit Score.
The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto www.equifax.co.uk/Products/credit/credit-report. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £9.95 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.
EQUIFAX TIPS TO HELP YOU PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST ID FRAUD
- Regularly review your credit file to look out for any unauthorised activity
- Shred statements, bills and direct mail which contain personal information
- Redirect mail if you move
- Keep your PIN and passwords secure and ensure they are not easy to guess
- Always check bank statements and credit card statements carefully against receipts
- Be careful what you carry around in your handbag or wallet. Credit card receipts, payslips, driving licence, bank statements, utility bills…these can all reveal personal information and a combination of these could be a fraudsters dream
- When using online banking, ensure people can’t view your details and log out of websites, rather than just closing the window
- Do not reveal your PIN to anybody under any circumstances, even a friend, relative or work colleague that you trust and certainly not to anyone who calls you claiming to be your bank or credit card provider
- Never store your PIN on a smartphone, tablet or laptop device - ensure these devices are themselves properly PIN or password protected – because if they are stolen fraudster may have access to all your Facebook details
- Do a factory reset when trading in an old phone to wipe it clean and remove any personal data
- If you are disposing of an old computer, or other electronic device that stores data make sure you remove the information from the hard drive
- Make sure your computer has the latest virus protection that ideally updates hourly and you have a Firewall
*CIFAS Fraudscape Report, published March 2014
For further press information, please contact: Clare Watson, Nakhalar Sterling, Ed McCambridge, Cecile Stearn or Wendy Harrison at HSL on 020 8977 9132 / Fax: 020 8977 5200 or Email: email@example.com
Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 600 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. The company’s significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Its common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. In 2013, Equifax was named a Bloomberg BusinessWeek Top 50 company, was #3 in Fortune's Most Admired list in its category, and was named to InfoWeek 500 as well as the FinTech 100. For more information, please visit www.equifax.com.
Equifax Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
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