Identity thieves can steal your identity when you move houses
When you move house you need to extra careful about protecting your identity, fraud experts are warning. New figures show that people who have recently relocated are vulnerable to becoming victims of identity fraud. This type of fraud occurs when opportunistic fraudsters, who have access to the victim’s previous address perhaps because they are their former landlord or they have moved in, claim it is still the victim’s current address. They then defraud the victim, for example by applying for credit in their name.
Statistics show that the situation is particularly bad in London where over a third of ‘previous occupier fraud’ took place according to the figures. It is believed the true figure could be much higher too, as these numbers only covered reported cases. This type of fraud could happen because the fraudster is keeping track of your mail. When you change address is a simple step that will make a fraudster’s job much more difficult and reduce the opportunities for them to take advantage. Research by Royal Mail shows that one in five people in London receive over 20 letters address to the previous occupant. Of those people, 62% received financial mail containing valuable information such as name, address and bank details.
BT provides some steps to follow to avoid being a victim of new home fraud:
1. Set up postal redirection with Royal Mail to make sure all your mail comes to your new address while you get yourself organised.
2. Inform all the necessary companies and finance firms of your new address.
3. Before you throw away anything containing your name, address or financial details make sure you shred it (Manchester shredding can do this for you)
4. Leave redirection set up for at least a year. That way you can be sure you haven’t missed any companies that might only send you post at certain times of year.
5. Keep a close eye on your statements after your move and report anything suspicious to the bank or finance firm involved.
6. If you are expecting a bank or credit card statement and it doesn’t arrive tell the issuing company immediately.
7. A few months after you’ve moved take the time to check your credit file to make sure there hasn’t been any fraudulent activity. If you are suspicious about anything check with the company concerned. If it’s fraud report it to the police.
If you want to shred anything consisting of your personal details or bank statements before moving house, Manchester shredding can Shred it. Our shredding services are carried out on site to ensure there is total security compliance as well as to give you complete peace of mind.