Among the crimes committed using personal information obtained from intercepted post are bogus mobile phone contracts, fraudulent transactions on shopping catalogue accounts, and account takeover where fraudsters take control of victims’ bank accounts.
Yet the nation’s 16m tenants are not helping themselves – when it comes to moving a third fails to redirect or leave a forwarding address so important post does not go missing. According to the findings, credit card statements, tax credit information, and pension details are just some of the important papers left to the mercy of strangers. Over 85% of tenants claim to have received post for former residents.
And the type of personal information received includes date of birth, national insurance number and credit card numbers – which fraudsters can use to take out loans, make illicit purchases or steal someone’s identity. Worryingly only 36% of renters inform their bank when they move address.
CPP’s identity theft experts warn that tenants are at great risk of this type of crime as they are more likely to share communal spaces such as hallways where mail can be easily intercepted, or they move more frequently making it harder keep track of confidential post.
Danny Harrison, identity theft expert from CPP, said: “Fraudsters are using more sophisticated ways to steal personal details like the internet, but we mustn’t forget the more obvious methods like having your post stolen. As we approach National Identity Fraud Prevention Week (12-16 October) we are reminding people that their identity is their most important asset and they need to protect it.
“To avoid falling victim it’s vital that people use the Royal Mail Redirection service for at least 12 months when they move to ensure important information does not go missing. When changing address, you need to make a note of all the important post you receive and tell them you are moving – not only your bank and credit card company, but mail from your work, gym, council and inland revenue.
“If you suspect your mail is being stolen, contact the Royal Mail customer enquiry Line and check whether a mail redirection order has been made in your name without your knowledge. You can also apply for an identity fraud protection policy to insure you against the consequences of identity fraud and resolve your credit status.”
When you move don’t forget to tell your:
•Credit card company
•Gas and Electric provider
•Gym and other memberships
•And to be 100% safe use the Royal Mail redirection service to prevent important mail going to your old address
What should you do if you receive post that’s not addressed to you?
•Make sure that you return post back to the sender
•Contact the former tenant and inform them of the un-redirected post so they can resolve the issue
•Never bin someone else’s post if possible, but if you do shred it first
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