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Tenants’ mail targeted by identity thieves

publication date: Aug 18, 2010
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Tenants are at risk of falling prey to identity fraudsters by failing to change their details when they move house, warns Cheshire lettings agent Jordan’s who has noticed an increase in the number of tenants saying they regularly receive post for past tenants. Of the UK’s 16m tenants, a third fail to leave a forwarding address. William Jordan, MD at Jordan’s says the trend is particularly worrying due to the increase in identity thefts.

The UK’s fraud prevention service CIFAS reported an increase of 32 per cent in the number of identity thefts committed during the recession. One of the most common types of fraud is criminals taking over the running of a victim’s bank account.

William says, “Although this trend can be a nuisance for people who receive piles of post meant for previous tenants, more worryingly, documents left behind can be used to commit identity fraud.

“When moving, tenants should be advised to redirect post for at least a month and when moving out at the end of a tenancy, to resist the urge to throw out personal documents with the rubbish as thieves can use this information to steal their identity. Instead, all documents that are no longer needed should be shredded.”

Almost a quarter of people in the UK fail to redirect their post and more than one in ten leave personal documents behind when they move house. Seventy per cent of new residents receive post addressed to previous occupants.