17 July 2017

Top Tips to avoid having your identity stolen

Would you share your personal details for the chance to win a dream holiday? New Nationwide research* suggests that reward can outweigh risk, and many people would ignore their suspicion and be lured by exciting offers.

The research reveals that common sense can go out of the window when people are hooked by ‘too good to be true’ offers. And tellingly, most people are aware that providing such information could put them at risk of fraud, with many regretting doing it later.

  • One in five would be happy to divulge all three critical pieces of info - name, address and date of birth
  • Just one in three (31%) would routinely check to determine whether an offer is real or fraudulent
  • 18-24 year-olds are four times more likely to share personal details on a cold call than those aged 55 plus
  • Fraud awareness is good however, 86% are aware that sharing their bank details, date of birth (62%), home address (58%) and email address (42%) could put them at risk of fraud
  • 38% say they ended up regretting giving their personal information out.

As thousands of Brits jet off to the sun this summer, Nationwide teamed up with ex-BBC’s Watchdog presenter Chris Hollins, to put you to the test.

Don’t be a victim of Identity Fraud

Play video - Don’t be a victim of Identity Fraud identity fraud video

We set up a fake competition to see how many people we can get to hand over their personal details in order to win a holiday of a lifetime and some spending money.

But it’s important to remember when it comes to handing out your data, things may not always be as they seem. 

Chris: Woah woah woah! You have just shared a lot of information, why have you given away your personal details? How do you know this isn’t a scam? 

Female Scammer: Would you like to win £5,000 and an amazing holiday to Thailand?  

Male Scammer: Just a couple of details and that’s it.  

Female Scammer: It’s like a dream holiday.  

Female Customer 1: Yeah.  

Female Scammer: Yeah? 

Female Customer 1: Brilliant.  

Female Customer 1: I thought that I was safe because I am just there on my own, I can just enter my details.  

Female Customer 2: It’s dangerous. It’s not cool people can take your money.  

Male Customer 1: In a shopping centre people trust that things are legitimate.  

Male Customer 2: It looks alright to me.  

Male Customer 3: Once I was in it, I felt a little bit embarrassed to then go oh is this fraud? Is it safe?  Here are some straightforward tips to stop you from becoming a victim of fraud. Trust your instincts, you can always say no to a request for information.  

Female Customer 3: And who are you sharing my information with?  

Female Scammer 2: Urm…  

Female Customer 3: They were asking more and more questions and as soon as it came to your bank information I saw red and I thought no. By that time I’d already given them a few things that I shouldn’t have. Don’t assume an email, a text, any interaction, is genuine. 

Female Customer 1: CAMS is an anagram of SCAM. 

Male Customer 1: [laughing]: Oh yeah, you’re right! I like that.

Nationwide’s Top Tips to avoid being a victim of fraud:

  • Protect your personal details just like you protect your home and valued possessions
  • Don’t assume an email, text or phone call is genuine – you can always ring back on a known number
  • Don’t share PINs, passwords or card reader passcodes and don’t send money out of your account for ‘safekeeping’
  • Be wary of giving anyone remote access to your computer, especially because of a cold call
  • Confirm any requests to change the destination of a payment by contacting the payee
  • Listen to your instincts. It’s okay to say no to requests for information. Genuine firms won’t pressure you
  • If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Not all ‘investments’ and ‘offers’ are legitimate.

If you think you have been scammed:

  • Report it to your bank/building society immediately – it can be retrieved if you act quick enough
  • Keep an eye on your accounts to spot any suspicious transactions
  • Report it to Action Fraud (0300 123 2040), the Police or Trading Standards – this will help protect others and minimise the chances of the scam spreading further.

* The poll of 2,000 UK adults was carried out by online market researchers, OnePoll.com, and took place between 6 June 2017 and 12 June 2017.

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