Bank Windhoek has informed its clients that unscrupulous fraudsters are falsifying bank statements to obtain either credit or money from micro lenders.
“This is a well-known method used by fraudsters. They obtain your original bank statements, and then photocopy your bank details on to a falsified template. These individuals would then approach micro-lending agencies to obtain loans or stores to obtain credit in your name,” says the manager of forensic services at Bank Windhoek, Johnny Truter.
“Not only is this identity theft, but it will also have an influence on your credit record when micro-lenders or stores obtain judgment against you for non-payment. This while the client is unaware of the fraud committed in their name,” Truter continued.
“Be very careful to whom you provide personal financial information, especially copies of bank statements. It is very convenient to e-mail documents, but be aware of the risks involved since one does not know in whose hands the documents may end up.
“Immediately inform financial service providers like banks, insurers, investment companies and asset managers, when personal particulars have changed, especially a post office box number, to prevent post with personal financial information, like bank statements, falling into the wrong hands.”
He says having a central location for all statements, tax forms, receipts and other documents is recommended. Instead of keeping your records in random places throughout your home, keep them all together, ideally in a fireproof safe or cabinet.
File everything immediately. Don’t hang on to receipts and paperwork planning on filing them “later.” Instead, file everything immediately upon receipt.
“Don’t dispose of your statements by simply placing it in trash. Rather ensure that you destroy it, so that fraudsters can’t get access to your details,” Truter advised.