Bank account and credit card holders are being advised not to be lulled into a false sense of security just because they have signed up with a provider’s fraud protection policy.
With growing threat of ID theft in shape of bank account and credit card cloning, lenders, card companies and credit reference agencies increasingly offer customers a range of anti-id theft services.
But online financial data analysis company Moneynet (www.moneynet.co.uk) today warns that many of these policies are flawed in that they do not offer full financial compensation to victims of fraud – and urges credit card and account holders to take simple measures to protect themselves against rising problem of id theft.
“We have seen a number of providers – and even credit reference agencies such as Experian – marketing protection services in recent months,” said Moneynet chief executive Richard Brown.
“Yet few, if any, of these services appear to offer insurance protection against actual financial loss in event that a credit card company, for example, refuses to cover loss – and surely this is what consumers really need,” he said.
“And if consumers are going to take out cover, they should also be aware that cost of protection can vary considerably,” he added.
“Royal Bank of Scotland’s service, while very comprehensive, will cost its customers more than £80 a year, while Barclaycard charges less than half that for a similar level of cover. However, full terms and conditions of credit card should also be taken into account and id protection products should not be considered in isolation.
“Some people may feel they can go a long way to protecting themselves by taking practical steps to protect against identity fraud: basics include buying a paper shredder, keeping a close eye on statements, checking your credit report, keeping passwords and PIN secure, and not giving out personal information over phone, web or by post unless recipient is known and trusted.