Unfortunately fraud happens to a lot of us and you hear the horrible stories of people losing hundreds if not thousands of pounds. The truth is; it could happen to you at anytime. This usually occurs from individuals getting a hold of your personal details or ID by you misplacing them or them being stolen. Fraud can occur with your national insurance number, bank account and various others. The profits of fraud-related offences have risen and risen within the UK so people must be on the watch out.
There are various ways to help prevent from being a victim. When you receive documents which provide you with information, take in the information needed and then dispose of it by using a shredder. This way information and documents thrown away in the bin (which many think of as being disposed properly) is completely destroyed and nobody can read it. This includes anything with your address, bank account details or national insurance number on it.
When documents and letters come through the post, don’t make them pile up. Put important documents in hidden files and the documents where you have either gathered the information in or are not important, shred them and don’t keep them in your house. Once someone manages to gain access to your house, they will usually easily be able to have access to your bank account. If you are going on holiday or leaving the house for a while, store the documents in a different place like a relative’s house, it’s worth being extra safe.
Make sure that you also change your pin number and passwords on cards regularly to avoid fraud. This may seem very precautious however it will work well. If someone finds your pin, and you change it regularly, the less money lost.
Another main mistake which must be avoided is to ignore and decline giving out your personal details over the phone if they contacted you. Alternatively, ask them to call back so you can check out the number which is calling you.
Lastly, of course be aware of unusual activity. This is probably the most obvious thing to look out for; look through all of your transactions and make sure you fully remember doing them and make sure it was definitely you. Look out for cash withdrawals in bizarre areas in which you do not usually withdraw cash or of course transactions which you clearly have not made.
Tom writes for Sec Tech, a company providing fraud investigation and other specialised security solutions.