It’s Not Just Cash & Credit Cards That are the Target for Fraudsters This Christmas Warns Equifax

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Leading ID fraud expert alerts shoppers to keep their identify safe this festive season

People carrying bags in the street
People may not realise that one snatched bag or wallet could offer fraudsters everything they need to steal an individual’s identity and create havoc over Christmas and beyond

Leading ID fraud expert, Equifax, is urging Christmas shoppers to keep a close eye on their personal details when they take to the high street. Although people remain vigilant when shopping online, Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax, believes consumers need to be just as aware of the risks they face when they are out and about shopping and socialising.

“With so much focus on the risks of online ID fraud, it’s easy to forget that fraudsters still target shoppers on the high street”, warns Neil Munroe. “People may not realise that one snatched bag or wallet could offer fraudsters everything they need to steal an individual’s identity and create havoc over Christmas and beyond. We, therefore, urge seasonal shoppers to remain vigilant at all times and keep safe their personal documents and belongings.

“It’s also important to remember that bag and wallet thieves aren’t just interested in cash. They are also looking to get hold of credit and debit cards as well as personal data because it can only take a couple of pieces of personal information like a receipt and a driving licence for a fraudster to be able to steal someone’s identity. Smartphones can also hold more personal information than a wallet, so consumers shouldn’t leave them sitting on tables or in an open bag, which is easy to do when you’re enjoying the festive season.”

Neil Munroe concludes, “It’s important to recognise the increased threat of fraud offline as well as online during the festive season. Our top tips for Christmas shoppers could save them from becoming a victim of fraud, ensuring they stay safe and in control of their finances over the festive period.”

EQUIFAX’S TOP TIPS FOR KEEPING FESTIVE FRAUDSTERS AT BAY

  •     File those receipts: Don’t carry lots of receipts in wallets, purses and bags, as this can offer fraudsters some of the information they need.
  •     Watch your wallet: Handbag and wallet thieves will be targeting your credit cards and personal documents, so keep your belongings close.
  •     Leave home without your cards: Only carry the cards you need to limit the damage if you are a victim of theft.
  •     Don’t carry personal documents: Passports, statements and other personal documents are top of a fraudster’s Christmas wish list. Leave them at home.
  •     Be smart with your smartphone: Protect your phone with a password to secure all the personal information it contains.

The Equifax Credit Report is accessible for 30 days free simply by logging onto our website. If customers do not cancel before the end of the 30 Day Free Trial, the service will continue at £8.99 per month, giving them unlimited online access to their credit information and weekly alerts on any changes to their credit file. It also includes an online dispute facility to help them correct any errors on their credit file simply and quickly.

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 that provide businesses of all sizes and consumers with insight and information they can trust. Equifax organizes and assimilates data on more than 500 million consumers and 81 million businesses worldwide. The company’s significant investments in differentiated data, its expertise in advanced analytics to explore and develop new multi-source data solutions, and its leading-edge proprietary technology enable it to create and deliver unparalleled customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers.

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Clare Watson | Nakhalar Sterling | Wendy Harrison | Cecile Stearn | Ed McCambridge
Equifax
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