Equifax urges home-movers to take care of their identity when changing address
London, July 2014 – Following news from Royal Mail that one in three home movers put themselves at risk of ID fraud by failing to tell their financial service providers their new address*, Equifax is reminding consumers of the steps they can take to ensure fraudsters do not ruin their experience of moving into their dream home.
As Andrew Webb, Sales & Marketing Director of Equifax Personal Solutions, explains, moving home can be a time when individuals are particularly vulnerable.
“When looking at home ownership aspirations, our recent survey** looked at the sacrifices that people would make to get their dream home. A quarter of people (26%) would be willing to take on the stress of a new job with a higher wage to secure the finance for their dream home, and almost a quarter (23%) said they would borrow the maximum amount available to them. It is, therefore, crucial that people do not let fraudsters ruin such a significant experience.
“The home move itself can be a very stressful experience, so it’s not surprising that address forwarding instructions can be forgotten. But it could mean fraudsters are given an easy opportunity to steal vital identity information. It has been proven that it can take just three pieces of an individual’s personal information to be able to obtain money or goods in their name, which is why we’re urging home-movers to be extra vigilant.
“Shredding financial documents that are no longer wanted is absolutely essential – don’t just chuck them in a black bag for an opportunistic fraudster to find. And make sure that post is properly redirected rather than relying on new occupants to forward mail. Post left lying around in communal hallways or empty properties can be very tempting for a potential fraudster.”
Equifax also encourages home movers to get a copy of their credit report, both before they make the move so that they understand what information is on their report, and afterwards to check that their new address details are up to date. This will also help to detect any unexpected credit applications at an old address so they can be challenged and dealt with quickly.
Consumers can monitor their credit report for any changes to accounts or new accounts they didn’t authorise, and Equifax WebDetect can help them protect their personal information online. The 24/7 ID monitoring solution helps keep consumers one step ahead of fraudsters by alerting them to potential unauthorised trading of their personal information. WebDetect is free for customers purchasing 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’s top tips to protect against ID fraud when moving home
• Shred old statements, bills and other personal documents that you’re throwing away
• If you are disposing of old phones, computers, or other electronic device that store data make sure you remove the information from the hard drive
• Set up for the Post Office to redirect mail from previous addresses. You can now set up an account online for Royal Mail to redirect your personal mail
• Register on the Electoral Roll at your new address
• Ensure that passwords for new accounts online are secure and not all the same
• Always check bank statements and credit card statements carefully against receipts
• Never store your online passwords or PINS on mobile phones, blackberrys, tablets or laptops
• Regularly check your credit file for any unauthorised applications for credit or new credit accounts
** All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4,733 adults of which 1,524 adults own their home on a mortgage. Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th - 12th May 2014. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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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