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Tenants change your address – or run the risk of identity fraud

October 19, 2009

Many tenants are falling prey to identity fraud as post is stolen and personal details used for illegal purposes.

Figures released by life assistance company, CPP, show that one in seven tenants have had their post intercepted and for some this has led to identity fraud. Intercepted post has also led to people becoming a victim of bogus mobile phone contracts and fraudulent transactions on shopping catalogue accounts. Scarily, some tenants have even had their accounts taken over – that is, where fraudsters take control of victims’ bank accounts. However, many of the 16 million tenants in the UK are not helping themselves.

Over one third of tenants move address and fail to redirect mail or leave a forwarding address – which means important post often goes missing. The research found that credit card statements, tax credit information, and pension details are just some of the important papers left to the mercy of strangers. 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.

CPP’s identity theft experts warn that tenants are at greater 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 to keep track of confidential post. While we often think of fraudsters using more sophisticated ways to steal our personal details we must not forget the more obvious methods like having your post stolen.

To ensure you are getting your mail it is vital you use the Royal Mail Redirection service for at least 12 months when you 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.

When you move don’t forget to tell your:

* Bank

* Credit card company

* Insurance company

* Work

* Pension provider

* Gas and Electric provider

* Telecom provider

* Inland Revenue

* Gym and other memberships

* Catalogue companies

* Charities

* Local council

Remember to keep you post for you – not for the eyes of anyone else! – Bringing people & property together

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