Fraudsters pay people to go through the rubbish you throw out, looking for bank and credit card statements, pre-approved credit offers and tax information. Everyday information that you may not think is important such as old gas, electricity and telephone bills, insurance documents, bank statements and even personal letters carry valuable personal information that can be gathered together to steal an identity. A bin raiding survey commissioned by Fellowes showed that an alarming 79% of household waste contained at least one or more items which could assist fraudsters in stealing an identity. Even more worryingly, almost half of all households threw away everything a potential fraudster would need to steal a person’s identity.
By completing change-of-address forms to redirect your mail, fraudsters can receive a wealth of information about you delivered direct to their doorstep. Similarly, by not asking Australia Post to redirect your mail when moving house, you leave yourself exposed to risk of ID Fraud.
Phone calls claiming to be from banks asking you to update your personal information should be regarded with caution. Calling the switchboard of the company in question and asking to be put through to the person who called you will help ensure you are not playing into the hands of fraudsters. Similarly, fraudsters posing as market researchers may ask for personal information over the phone. Credible organisations will not mind you double checking their authenticity before providing such information.