The Festive season is upon us and for many of us that means a well deserved holiday away from the hustle of work and life but not everyone will be taking a holiday this December. Enter opportunity.
We often times forget that even though December is holiday season, it is also just another calendar month filled with the billing cycles of creditors. While you are on Holiday consider what happens to your mail while you are away.
We are around the corner with the “silly” season and although we are not exactly back in the 80’s where we sat at the post box eagerly awaiting that Christmas card from a loved one the relevance hasn’t changed much. We still receive the standard bills and notices from our creditors reminding us of everything from telephone accounts to TV licenses or perhaps more credit to spend this festive season. Most people are nonchalant towards these mailings with the attitude of “These bills will still be there when I return from my trip and I will deal with it in the New Year.” This is where opportunity is rife for the Identity Thief. One man’s trash is another man’s identity.
Most of us don’t think twice about what information is contained on our posted mail. The bills get paid and we are reminded how much comes off our accounts with these posted statements. The usual information contained in these statements such as cellphone numbers, physical addresses, spending patterns, account numbers are often passed off as irrelevant but to the fraudster this is a great starting point. It has been noted that some posted mail even contains Identity Numbers, vehicle registration numbers and driving patterns.
In July this year, it was reported that a vehicle transporting UK Visa Applications was hijacked containing original documents, including passports and marriage certificates. These documents have yet to be recovered. A single heist of an unprotected vehicle, for example, can yield thousands of identities and other valuable cargo. You may think similarly that the chances of someone stealing your mail and using your details maliciously are slim. Where you may perceive something as a slim chance, is often perceived by a fraudster as a massive opportunity.
The opportunity of stealing ones Identity is prevalent both online and offline(as is the case of the UK VISA applications and mail theft.) There is a higher risk over the December period as individuals are spending more in outlets and less time at their home residences creating opportunity for a fraudster to find his window. This is the Holiday season and everyone knows it, especially fraudsters.
Stay Protected and Stay Informed this Holiday Season.
The Identity Guard Team.