London, 5th December 2011 - Leading ID fraud expert, Equifax, is urging Christmas shoppers to be vigilant about their personal details when out and about during the festive season. As Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director, Equifax explains whilst there have been warnings about being alert to the risks of ID fraud when shopping online, shoppers should also be alert when making trips to the high street and malls.
“We believe that there has been so much focus on the risks of online ID fraud that some shoppers may have forgotten about the basic precautions when they are out and about”, said Neil Munroe. “In particular, we are urging Christmas shoppers to ensure they are not carrying lots of receipts in their wallets, purses or bags. And also to be alert to the risk of handbag and wallet thieves who are probably more interested in credit cards and personal identity documents than the cash.”
Equifax, is also urging consumers to think before they head to the shops, restaurants or bars about what they take with them in terms of credit cards, driving licence and other personal information when they head for the stores or to celebrate. One snatched bag or wallet could offer fraudsters everything they need to steal an individual’s identity and wreak havoc over Christmas and beyond.
“Our advice is to take just the minimum in terms of cards and identity documents when going Christmas shopping. Then opportunistic thieves won’t find it that easy to steal someone’s identity.”
“Despite all the focus on ID fraud over the last few years, it’s still staggering how many people simply don’t realise how valuable the information they carry with them is - it’s much more valuable than cash! It can only take a couple of pieces of personal information like a receipt and a driving licence for a fraudster to steal someone’s identity. So consumers should think carefully about what’s in their wallet or handbag.”
“Even a Christmas shopping list could be a risk! Often the names of family or friends are used as security passwords, so even this innocent list could be a real present for a fraudster.”
“One of the worst things that could happen this season is to have to deal with identity fraud. It can take hours of phone calls and letter writing to deal with identity fraud. If you leave yourself open to fraud you risk being left without any money for presents and socialising during the festive period.”
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.
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