Anyone can be a victim of fraud, but there are a few things that put you more at risk
While fraudsters are sophisticated criminals and even the most careful of us can fall victim to financial fraud, some of us are more at risk of fraud than others.
Rented homes often have communal entrances, making it easier for confidential post like bank statements and personal information to end up in the wrong hands.
If you have a communal entrance be careful to pick up your post every day and not leave it lying around for too long.
Moving home can put you at risk of identity fraud as your personal mail might end up in someone else’s hands.
So make sure your post redirected by Royal Mail for at least a year after your move.
Always report missing letters to Royal Mail and relevant organisations as soon as you notice they’ve gone missing.
Having a simple password (e.g. 1234567) makes it easy for your accounts to be hacked. Most websites and banks won’t let you have a password.
The current security advice for strong passwords is to use a sentence (if the character limit allows it), as a short phrase is both easier to remember and a longer password is harder to hack.
Also, using the same password for too many accounts is unwise, as if one password gets hacked your other accounts will be at risk.
Not being careful with your personal information puts you at risk of fraud, for example writing your PIN on an obvious piece of paper.
It’s worth noting that if your bank or lender determines that you have been “grossly negligent” with the security around your account they may refuse to refund any money that has been stolen.
Don’t part with personal information, let alone your financial details, over the phone, via e-mail or on websites unless you are 100% sure it is trustworthy.
Also be careful about what details you display online on social media – even innocuous details dates of birth, pets and children’s names could help criminals hack through your security questions.
Not paying attention
If you don’t regularly look at your bank statements or keep one eye on your credit report, it’s easy for fraudsters to take advantage of you.
Your credit report contains a list of all your credit accounts, your repayment record and crucially shows recent applications for new credit accounts.
• Refused credit? – What to do Find out what your next steps are if you’ve been refused credit
• Credit card fraud: the biggest card frauds in history – card security has improved but card fraud is still on the rise – we take a look at two of the biggest credit card frauds ever and explain your rights
• What can I do if I’m a victim of fraud? If you’ve been a victim of fraud where you’ve been left out of pocket, you should be able to get your money back.