Tenants: the prime target for ID theft!
A recent survey of 5,000 victims of identity theft revealled that those who rent are the highest risk AND the preffered target for criminals.
The study was performed by creditexpert who are able to monitor any new and existing credit agreements assigned to any individual. Creditexpert found that of the 5,000 victims surveyed almost 90% we're living in rented accommodation.
Why are tenants the preferred target for ID theft?
Tenants are more vulnerable because of their tendency to move more often than home owners and by not redirecting their mail they leave themselves exposed to the threat of previous address fraud. Mail interception is a key tactic used by criminals, and those tenants that share hallways are at highest risk.
Also, rental properties which have been rented several times will have several sets of previous tenants’ post still going to that address. This gives fraudsters the opportunity to steal several individuals’ identity in a short period from one address. Once fraudsters have personal details such as an individual’s full name and address, they can then seek credit agreements such as catalogues or credit cards in the name of those previous tenants.
Tips to help AVOID becoming a victim of ID Fraud
Check your credit file frequently
Regularly obtain a copy of your personal credit file from one of the three credit reference agencies. It is particularly helpful to check your personal credit file 2-3 months after you have moved house. On your credit file you will be able to see which financial organisations have accessed your details. If you see something that looks unusual then you just investigate it straight away.
Collect valuables from the branch
Be extra careful if you live in a property where other people could have access to your mail. In some cases a bank or credit card company could arrange for you to collect valuable items such as new cards or cheque books from a local branch. You could also get the item delivered to work, or insist that the item is tracked so that you can check the status of the delivery. If the status of the delivery reports that it has been delivered and you haven’t received it, you must contact the organisation that sent you the item to get it blocked.
Suspect that your post has been stolen?
If you were expecting post and it never arrived firstly contact the person you were expecting it from. If they have sent it and you suspect your mail is being stolen, contact the Royal Mail Customer Enquiry Line: 08457 740 740. Check whether a mail redirection order has been made in your name without your knowledge.
Moving house? Tell everyone
If you move house, tell your bank, card issuer and all other organisations that you deal with immediately. Ask the Royal Mail to redirect any mail from your old address to your new one for at least a year so that you don’t forget about anything. It might help you if you move frequently to keep a list of all the people you need to inform, this will save some time in the future.