Today I woke up to find that my name had been used to open not one, but two phone accounts with EE and 3 Mobile. It made me angry that someone had my details, they had my name, my date of birth, where I lived. Pretty much all the details they needed. But it made me think of how safe we against these sort of attacks?
I do what is suggested, limit the amount of public information about me. I shred by papers. I am guilty of online shopping, but who isn’t. But what does any of this mean if they still get access to my accounts and my information?
So I ask those in Insurance Fraud, how do I go about protecting myself? What tips do I use? Do I not use internet banking at all? What is the safest thing to do?
I did an article before of insurance fraud and I have been unfortunately subject to it a few times.
Insurance Fraud is on the rise.
So-called “crash for cash” car insurance scams helped to contribute to the record figures. That is when fraudsters stage a car crash, for example by slamming their brakes on at a road junction, often having disabled the brake lights. An unsuspecting motorist then crashes into the back of the first car.
The fraudsters have witnesses on hand to show that the crash was the other driver’s fault, enabling them to make an insurance claim for the damage, as well as whiplash injuries.
Personally I have witnessed this and so have many other individuals I know. It is unfortunate as there is no way of getting around it, it is a very frustrating experience.
In one case in County Durham last year, 60 people were convicted for one of the UK’s largest “crash for cash” frauds. As many as 25 accidents were staged in the Consett area, and resulted in local residents having to pay an extra £100 on their premiums.
The Insurance Fraud Bureau is investigating 110 cases of “crash for cash” as it stands this year alone.
Facts on Cyber Crime
• In 2011/12 over one-third (37%) of adult internet users reported experiencing a negative online incident in the past 12 months, but these experiences would often be below the threshold of a recorded crime.
• Computer viruses are one of the most common negative experiences reported, although the proportion of adult internet users experiencing them appears to have declined. Experiences of hacking, on the other hand, appear to have increased
• A whopping 82% of hackers do not get caught, and a higher majority feel that they will not get caught.
• . Online shopping and auctions represent the largest proportion of cyber-enabled frauds during this time. Action Fraud received 47,980 reports of cyber-enabled fraud between January and December 2012, comprising 35 per cent of all crime and incident reports made to Action Fraud during this time
• E-commerce frauds comprises £77.3 million in direct losses (most notably, identification-related frauds, card and card-not-present frauds, and refund frauds), £16.5 million in online security measures and £111.6 million in lost revenue from online fraud prevention.
So what can be done?
• Be vigilant – look at bank statements, if you have an Experian account check for any unusual activity.
• Know who you’re dealing with. Try to find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number. With internet phone services and other web-based technologies, it’s tough to tell where someone is calling from. Do an online search for the company name and website, and look for reviews. If people report negative experiences, you’ll have to decide if the offer is worth the risk. After all, a deal is good only if you get a product that actually works as promised?
• Don’t send money to someone you don’t know.
• Don’t agree to deposit a check and wire money back.
• Don’t reply to messages asking for personal or financial information.
• Report Scams
• Never give any credit card, bank or Security information to anyone by telephone unless you can positively verify that the call is legitimate.
• Minimize exposure of your Social Security and credit card numbers. If the numbers are requested for check-cashing purposes, ask if the business has alternative options, such as a check-cashing card.
• Do not have your bank send your new checks to your home address. Tell the bank that you prefer to pick them up.
• Destroy all checks immediately after you close a checking account. Destroy or keep in a secure place any courtesy checks that your bank or credit card company sends to you.
I hope this helps others who have had similar situations like me today. I hope my situation gets sorted out. Any helpful tips from anyone on how to protect myself for additional attacks? Please let me know