Don’t fall victim to devious identity thieves - 18th September 2017

The team at SW&A was disturbed to read recently that identity theft is reaching epidemic levels with supposedly tech savvy 30-somethings the most targeted group.

A total of 89,000 cases were recorded in the first six months of 2017 by UK anti-fraud organisation Cifas – that’s five per cent up on the same period last year and a record high.

Simon Dukes, chief executive of Cifas, said: “These frauds are taking place almost exclusively online. The vast amounts of personal data that are available either online or through data breaches is only making it easier for the fraudster.”

ID theft accounts for more than half of fraud recorded by Cifas with many victims unaware that they had been targeted until they received a random bill or realised their credit rating had nose-dived.

Fraudsters steal identities by gathering information such as name and address, date of birth and bank account details.

They obtain such information by stealing mail, hacking computers, trawling social media or tricking individuals into giving details or buying data through the “dark web”.

SW&A wholeheartedly condones this advice from Cifas on protecting yourself from identity crime:

  • Restrict the amount of personal information you give away on social networking sites. Real friends know where you live and the date of your birthday;
  • Update your computer’s firewall, anti-virus and anti-spyware programmes;
  • Never share passwords or PINs with others and don’t write them down;
  • Use strong passwords and PINs - include a mix of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation marks. Aim for a minimum of 10 characters in a password;
  • Do not use the same password or PIN for more than one account; 
  • Shred all your financial documents before throwing them away.

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Our company intends to ensure that our new website become not only a hub of activity but also somewhere as a useful source of information for our current and prospective clients. Neil stated '"it is my intention to use the website as a tool to communicate with out clients; this is something we will grow over the coming years to incorporate our informative blogs, news and social media work."

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