12 Jun Identity theft and our safeguards…
Identity fraud is often described by the police as “Britain’s fastest growing crime”. It involves the misuse of identity information to commit crime. The number of victims of identity fraud rose by 57% in 2016 according to Cifas which states: “Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become a hunting ground for this 21st Century crime”. The majority of crimes were committed online. Sometimes personal information is accessed by hacking commuters but worryingly social media is now the main source of data.
Landlords at Risk
Landlords who choose to move out of their former main residence, and rent out their property, have been identified as facing a high risk of identity theft. This is because of the delay in updating records with numerous agencies, including banks, energy suppliers and service providers. Landlords are also at risk from criminals who offer false information as part of the tenant referencing processes.
Referencing and Tenant Vetting
On Line Property Services helps protect our landlords by thorough and meticulous referencing procedures. These include ID checks. Taking time is vital, interviewing the prospective tenant as well as checking references carefully and not immediately believing them. Credit checks alone are insufficient; although they are as important part of the process. Any prospective tenant must complete a form of 5 pages with relevant questions, the answers are then corroborated step by step.
We understand that becoming a victim of identity theft is a major inconvenience so we have put safeguards into our processes to try to protect our landlords.