Ensure that you protect yourself!

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 3rd May 2023.

I recently discovered that someone had somehow/somewhere likely intercepted an item of post. Pretending to be me, they then successfully reported my credit card to the provider (which I had in my possession) as lost. Being able to amend the address and contact details, taking delivery of the new credit card, they then happily spent close to £10,000 in around six weeks.

Not least for professional reasons, I’ve been subscribing to a credit referencing service for a number of years. Meaning that I regularly review that all is as it should be. I also regularly review my bank accounts. With the former, this is how I found out what had happened. Being overtly obvious, as it was a credit card that I hadn’t used for some time.

Santander who the card was with have to date been very good. But they have to conduct a full investigation at their end, to establish what happened and where their systems have clearly fallen short.

The frustration is that it seems to take no time at all for an institution’s processes to fall foul of a fraudulent person acting as someone else. But an inordinate amount of time to rectify. Where I have spent a good few hours of my time, speaking with Santander.

I’ve also registered the issue with CIFAS, which is a not-for-profit fraud prevention membership organisation for institutions. Managing the largest database of instances of fraudulent conduct in the country. For members of the public, they offer increased security against identity fraud. As well as expert advice on how to protect your personal data in an increasingly tech-reliant world.

My message to you here is:

  • Don’t take things for granted;
  • Take ownership of what may be going on in your life;
  • Regularly check your accounts;
  • Challenge anything that doesn’t seem right; and
  • If you want added protection, subscribe to a credit reference agency.

For some time, I’ve also carried some quite sophisticated online security. However, we cannot be completely protected all of the time. But we can at least try.

So review yours, regularly check what’s going on in your name and stay alert.

Remember that life is not a rehearsal, and we only get one crack at it. And although the money is important, it’s what we do with it that really counts.