Simple Monitoring Could Reduce The Time it Takes to Recover from ID Fraud

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As new data warns that UK consumers are most at risk from fraud, Equifax urges consumers to be more proactive with monitoring their credit file

October is National Identity Fraud Prevention Month, with a taskforce of partners urging UK consumers to take more control of their identity to reduce the risk of ID fraud.    

As one of the partners of the month, leading ID fraud expert, Equifax, is particularly keen to encourage consumers to be more proactive about the data on their credit files. This is because research conducted for the month’s campaign revealed that it takes, on average, 7 months before UK victims realise they’ve had their identity used by someone else.

“Stealing personal information is where most fraud begins”, explains Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax. “And with a stolen ID, a fraudster can effectively become you – taking money, setting up bank and other financial accounts, even taking out a mobile phone in your name. Yet it’s incredible how relaxed people are with their personal information. It’s also incredible that so many people simply don’t realise they have been the victim of this invisible crime, until they go to apply for new credit.

“Checking credit and bank account statements regularly should be a very quick way to spot unauthorised transactions. But that still puts the onus on the individual and we know with everyone’s lives being so busy, it would be even easier to be alerted to changes in financial information, which is what the Equifax ID Watch service does.”

Tackling the threat of identity theft and fraud,Equifax Identity Watch Pro gives consumers unlimited instant, easy online access to their latest credit file, with automatic alerts within 24 hours of key changes to their credit report. It costs £7.50 per month. Or for just £2.99 per month, Equifax Identity Watch Lite makes monitoring a credit report easy by automatically alerting the individual within seven days of key changes.

Equifax’s top tips for protection against ID fraud

o    No matter how much you trust your friends, work colleagues, do not give out your PIN number under any circumstances
o    Never give out your personal details on the phone or by email until you know exactly who you are dealing with and that they are from a legitimate organisation. If you doubt the request is genuine, contact the company directly
o    Do not carry around key personal documents – such as Driving Licence or Passport – unless you genuinely need them and keep them secure at home and when abroad
o    Never tell anybody your PIN, keep it secure and never write it down
o    Don’t use common things for verification of passwords, such as your date of birth or your mother’s maiden name
o    Be careful of what you carry around in your handbag or wallet. Credit Card receipts, payslips, driving licence, bank statement, utility bill…these all reveal a lot of information about you and a combination of these can be a fraudsters dream
o    Make sure you dispose properly of any bills or bank statements with your account details on after checking them for any unusual activity.
o    Check you have logged out properly when using any online banking, so that your details aren’t visible to anyone else.
o    Ensure you have the latest virus protection that ideally updates hourly and you have a Firewall

The Equifax app is available free from the Apple iTunes Store on iPhone and iPad and from Google Play for Androids.

About Equifax
Equifax is a global leader in consumer, commercial and workforce information solutions, providing businesses of all sizes and consumers with information they can trust. We organize and assimilate data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide, and use advanced analytics and proprietary technology to create and deliver customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Equifax operates or has investments in 18 countries, for more information please visit our website

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