Home movers warned of fraud risk

Many home movers are putting themselves at risk of financial fraud by forgetting to tell firms about their new address, a study has found.

People moving home have been reminded to advise companies about their change of address
People moving home have been reminded to advise companies about their change of address

One third (34%) of almost 13,000 people surveyed who have used the Royal Mail's redirection service said they were reminded only after receiving a redirected letter that they had not informed at least one of their financial services providers that they had moved home.

Half (48%) of those surveyed have also received what they would describe as sensitive financial information for someone who used to live at their address.

Almost one in five (18%) people said that a redirected letter from their pension company prompted them to tell them of their change of address. For banks and credit card companies, the figure stood at 15%.

Around 5% of people surveyed said they realised they had forgotten to tell their telephone or broadband provider they had moved home when they received a redirected letter, while 14% said the same for their TV licence and 13% for their mobile phone provider.

Action Fraud, the UK's national reporting centre for fraud and internet crime, advises individuals to redirect their mail for at least a year after moving home to help protect them from identity fraud.

Stephen Proffitt, head of Action Fraud, said: "If someone fails to tell their financial services provider, whether it is a bank or pension company, they have moved home, they are increasing the risk that personal information could fall into the wrong hands and be used fraudulently.

"Action Fraud received more than 130,000 reports of identity enabled fraud last year, valued at £410 million."