Watch out for festive fraud while you’re shopping this Christmas

Posted on: 13 December 2016

Does the risk of fraud peak during the festive season? According to Home & Legacy partner, Experian, the answer is yes. Experian’s quarterly ID Fraud Tracker showed that in December 2015, 69 out of every 10,000 credit applications were fraudulent – which was an annual high. So it’s well worth keeping a close eye out for fraud during the festive season.

With that in mind, our expert partner Experian has put together five tips to help Home & Legacy customers protect themselves from fraudsters this Christmas...

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1. Password protect

You may be in a hurry to tick off your Christmas to-do’s, but avoid taking shortcuts with online security. Try to use different passwords when you sign up to new online shopping accounts. Strong passwords contain a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

2. Shop safely

Consider sticking to sites you are familiar with when it comes to buying gifts and research new retailers by reading reviews. If a price reduction sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Pay by credit card where possible because they give you more protection than other payment methods.

3. Be smart with social

The information you share online is in the public domain, and could be easily traceable. Everyone enjoys a Christmas jumper ‘selfie’ but avoid becoming overzealous with the information you post, particularly around things like your email address, date of birth and address, which could be used by a fraudster to build up a profile in your name.

4. Check your credit report

If personal information falls into the wrong hands, it’s good to know where those details go. Checking your credit report regularly can help you quickly identify credit applications made under false pretences. Web monitoring tools available through services like Protect My ID scour the web for stolen details, sending you an instant notification if your information appears somewhere new online.

5. Shred to prevent

We throw out even more rubbish than ever at Christmas, so when you’re recycling this month, be aware that your Christmas card envelopes could contain very useful identity material for fraudsters. Be sure to shred important documents before throwing them away.

Home & Legacy household policyholders receive the Experian identity fraud detection and assistance service ProtectMyID, as a standard part of their household insurance. If you have not registered to activate your 24 hour personal data monitoring and alerts service and to gain access to your Experian Credit Report visit:

www.protectmyid.co.uk/homeandlegacy

You’ll need your Home & Legacy customer reference number, which can be found on your policy schedule.