Freshers filled in on fraudsters
Freshers descending upon south Belfast for the start of a new university year have been warned about the risk of fraud.
Life assistance company CPP say freshers are at risk as many leave home for the first time.
When out socialising they may leave bags unattended, or even leave their card behind the bar, putting them at risk from card scams.
As many students share rented properties, they are at risk from mail fraudsters who can use personal details to make illegal transactions, set up bogus accounts and even steal someone’s identity.
With fraudsters requiring little more than a name, a date of birth, or an address, it is vital that students look after their personal information.
Figures from CPP show: nearly one in ten (9 per cent) of 16-24 year olds have left a card behind the bar to start a tab; 16-24 year olds are least likely to check their statements against their receipts ; nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of 16-24 year olds have let someone else take money out on their behalf ;m ore than 15 per cent of 16-24 year old tenants have had their mail intercepted leaving them at risk from identity theft.
Nicole Sanders, identity theft expert from CPP, comments: “It can often feel like there’s a million and one things to do when starting university, from sorting out your student loan to making new friends and it’s all too easy to overlook your personal security when getting swept up in the university spirit.
“But it’s vital that students make sure they keep their personal information safe, especially as they will be living in shared areas with hundreds of new people. We urge all students to keep their personal information safe and remember that their identity is their most valuable possession.”
Advice to students includes not writing down PIN numbers, passwords or usernames unless you absolutely have to do so, not letting your card out of your sight when on a night out and remembering that identity thieves and financial criminals are experts at spotting an opportunity to steal your identity All they need are a few personal details, so keep them safe.