Coming up next month is identity fraud prevention week. It runs from the 8th to the 14th of October and is designed to help you protect yourself against different types of fraud. Listed below are 10 different things you can do to protect yourself or your business against identity theft.
Keep Your Eyes Open
Be wary of anyone who asks you for personal information such as your name, address, telephone number or bank details. If they are claiming to be someone who you can trust, make sure that they are who they say they are – ask them for some official ID such as a driving license or passport is a good way to do this.
Keep Your Cards Safe
If you think you have lost your credit card make sure that you report it as lost or stolen straight away – do not take any chances, find out how long it will take for your new card to arrive and as soon as you receive a new one make sure that it is signed immediately. Also be wary of cashiers in shops trying to take your number, make sure that you can see the card at all times.
Check Your Bill Payments
If your bank or credit card statements do not arrive on time, make sure that you look into this right away – this could mean someone has taken over your account. Also, check all of your statements for unusual activity.
Check Your Credit Report
Get a credit report done on a regular basis to make sure that no credit cards or accounts have been illegally set-up in your name. You can get a credit report done through any of your relevant credit reference agencies – it does not cost a lot of money to do this.
Guard Your Documents
Keep all of your important documents which contain personal information in a safe place. Limit the number of important documents you carry around with you at any one time. If you are worried about people getting into your home/business premises you might want to think about getting a safe or having a burgular alarm installed.
Shred Your Used Documents
Shredding your documents ensures that fraudsters cannot get personal information about you by going through your rubbish.
Make Sure Your Post Is Secure
Fraudsters may try to steal your mail by having it redirected to a different address. Contact your postal service right away if you notice that any letters or bills are not arriving.
Secure Your Phone Line
It is not that difficult for someone to take control of your telephone by placing another phone on your line or by having your calls redirected. Check with your phone service provider straight away if you think this has happened to you.
Keep Your Contact Information Up-To-Date
Whenever you move house or change your telephone number, make sure that you update your contact information with all of the relevant companies/organisations.
Make Sure Your Computer Is Secure
Make sure that your computer has anti-virus software and security patches installed. Change your passwords regularly and if you are using a laptop keep it with you at all times when travelling.