Credit reference agency Equifax has identified its top ID fraud scams to watch out for this Spring.
The types of scam exposed included fake charities for Haiti, phantom property transfers, hacking into Twitter accounts, and identity theft of the deceased, whereby fraudsters use their details to open credit cards and other financial accounts in their name. Email phishing, one of the better known ID fraud scams around, was also said to be rising.
A spokesman for Equifax said, ‘As quick as expert organisations and the crime prevention agencies are trying to tackle the latest scams to be identified, new frauds are being invented. And at the moment, it seems that identity fraud and theft is particularly appealing to the fraudsters. However, although ID fraud is on the rise, it doesn’t mean you have to be a victim.’
ID fraud on the rise
According to Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service, identity fraud increased by 32% in 2009, indicating that consumers need to be increasingly aware and vigilant, and ensure they protect all of their details.
For more information on protecting yourself against identity fraud, read the Which? How to beat identity fraud advice guide and our Top tips for stopping identity theft.
Checking your credit file
Consumers can help protect themselves against identity fraud by obtaining their credit reports from the three credit reference agencies in the UK: Callcredit, Equifax and Experian. You can obtain your reports for £2 each both online or by post – visit the Which? guide to credit reference agencies to find out more.
Which? Money when you need it
You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.
Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.
Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what’s going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.