In a recent study by credit checking service Experian, it was revealed that nearly one in four people targeted by identity theft attempts in 2015 were highly tech-savvy users of mobile and social media.
It was discovered in the research that the most prolific users of mobile and social technology, making up 7.7 percent of the UK population, accounted for 23 percent of all ID fraud victims in 2015.
The next biggest rise in identity theft was among older and retired households, predominantly living in rural communities. This group makes up 1.6 percent of the UK population, with a rise in fraud of 15.4 percent year-on-year.
“These people are being targeted through phone and email scams by fraudsters trying to steal their details. They tend to be less aware of the types of scams fraudsters undertake, who can be very manipulative and sound trustworthy on the phone. The sole rule is to never give out personal details, passwords or Pins to anyone, whether it is on the phone or by email.” said Nick Mothershaw, a fraud expert from Experian.
Mothershaw said it is vital that those embracing technology also embrace protecting themselves online. “Using the latest device doesn’t necessarily mean full protection, and being complacent about the risk of ID theft makes for a tempting target for ID fraudsters.” he added.
Here are some tips from Experian to avoid becoming a victim of fraud:
• Have unique, secure passwords for each online account with a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
• Keep up-to-date with the latest antivirus and newest versions of apps on all devices
• Be cautious about the information you post on social media such as email address, date of birth and family pet names, especially if they’re used as passwords. Also think twice before adding someone you don’t know to your network.
• Lock your device with a passcode or a gesture to prevent access
• Be wary of unexpected, irrelevant mail as it could be a sign of ID fraud particularly mail outside of the usual purchasing sphere
• Check your credit report to see if credit has been applied for under false pretences