In the modern world, we have everything at our fingertips. We can send money, check balances and do pretty much any transaction in seconds at the touch of a button. I can even withdraw money without my cash card. But all this convenience can come at a price. Financial fraud has never been greater, which is not surprising. All your information is “out there” and liable to be stolen, or hacked. Moolr look at some tips to avoid financial fraud.
It has happened to me. Just a couple of years ago a current account was set up in my name and a £1000 overdraft was racked up, all without my knowledge. All they needed was a few personal details and it was all done online.Thankfully the bank in question cancelled the debt after I met with them to explain the situation. Previous to that, a new bank card was stolen en route, along with the PIN, and a few hundred pounds spent in a short period of time.
Aside from the obvious precautions of keeping your credit card and PIN numbers private, here are a few useful ways to help prevent fraud.
Should you move, always change your addresses with all relevant companies, and use a forwarding service so that your post continues to reach you in the meantime. I tend to use the service for six months, which gives you plenty of time.
Absolutely vital. If you do a lot of financial transactions online, ensure you have the best security on your computer at all times- it’s worth paying for peace of mind. This includes all blocks against hackers, adware, malware, bots, spam and more. Should you ever get an email saying there has been an attempt to access your account, enter the site via your own route and change passwords. In fact, change your passwords regularly, to keep any potential hackers on the run.
All this advice is equally applicable for your mobile phone.
Keep an eye on your mailbox and empty it frequently. If you go on vacation, have a friend collect your mail or request that it be held at the post office. When I had the bogus account set up in my name, this may have been their route to my details. The area had experienced a spate of mail thefts in previous weeks.
Bank accounts, credit card statements and more. Always check statements regularly and ensure you can account for every transaction. If you are not sure about anything, check with your financial provider for more details.
This also applies to your credit reports. Check them regularly too (this can be done for free, at least the first time), and ensure they are accurate and up to date. Query anything you do not agree with.
Finally, be sensible. Be cautious about sales calls and anyone asking for your personal details. Treat your details with the greatest secrecy. Never click links within emails and always side on the side of caution.