With several high profile names becoming victim to phishing scams that have gained access to their email address books in the last month, its becoming apparent that its more important than ever for people to be extra cautious when sharing data online said Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax. In particular, if asked for personal details at any time, whether its by email or on the phone, its vital to know exactly who you are speaking to and that theyre from a legitimate organisation before you give them any of your personal details. And remember a financial organisation will NEVER ask you for personal details by return email.
Although its impossible to be protected from every single scam out there, Equifax has taken note of a few that have been exposed recently to help prevent individuals becoming a victim of ID fraud:
EQUIFAX TIPS TO PROTECT AGAINST PHISHING EMAILS AND ID FRAUD
- Be wary when asked to give out your personal details online or over your mobile phone, if you doubt the request is genuine, contact the company directly. Genuine companies will never ask you to confirm your password or PIN
- Make sure you have the latest virus protection that ideally updates hourly and you have a Firewall
- Make sure you log out of all online banking, social networking sites and online shopping accounts rather than just closing the window
- Never store PINS or passwords on mobiles or smartphones
- Regularly check credit card and bank statements for unauthorised transactions
- Regularly check your credit file for any unauthroised applications for credit or new credit accounts
- Apply for a copy of your credit file to look out for any unauthorised activity
Many ID fraud victims simply dont know that theyve been targeted and they only realise theres a problem when they try to take out new credit or check their credit report continued Neil Munroe. Thats why our alerts service is so valuable, telling consumers whenever any information changes on their credit report. This is both a powerful preventative measure against ID fraud as well as helping consumers act quickly if they do become victims.
The Equifax ID fraud alerts prompt consumers to check their credit report whenever any change occurs to their data. This could be a credit search registered by a lender when someone attempts to obtain credit in the victims name. Acting on this information, the innocent party can quickly get in touch with the lender to confirm that they did not authorise the search, hopefully preventing fraud from occurring.
Or it could be when a new credit agreement is registered against an individual. Whilst this means the fraud has already taken place, the victim will still be able to act quickly to confirm to the lender that they have been subject to a fraudulent application.
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.
If you think you have become a victim of fraud, alert your banks and credit reference agencies immediately.