How I Had My Bank & Identity Details Stolen Twice... And Steps I Now Take To Stop It From Happening Again *

-*this post is in collaboration with Seareach, all opinions are my own-
I'm talking about something a little different today which is fraud. The reason why I'm talking about it is because I have unfortunately fallen victim to having my identity and bank details stolen twice over the past few years. Both of the times it happened were through different ways that fraudsters use. So in this post I'm going to be talking about how it happened, what happened next and steps I'm now taking which will *hopefully* stop it from happening again. I've also teamed up with Seareach who are a UK security printing company to bring you this post today.

The first time I had my bank and identity details stolen was basically just because I had become a little lax with updating my laptop and the internet security software I was using at the time. It kept popping up about the updates and I kept clicking it off and not properly reading the information it was telling me just because I was too busy updating my Facebook and Twitter statuses and online shopping (oops). My laptop was not secure at the time and then the next thing I know a sum of money had left my account which I had not spent. Thankfully the first time it happened it wasn't a huge amount of money. I think at the time I didn't have an overdraft either so they couldn't take any more than what was in the bank account and at the time, it wasn't a lot anyway, I think it was around £50. Thankfully I called up my bank and explained that a sum of money that was not authorised had left my account and that I think it was stolen and then they asked me all of my security details as expected and then asked if I had used any ATMs recently which I hadn't and if my internet security was up to date and then I realised that it had probably happened because I'd not updated my security and someone had basically just swept in because it was unprotected and stolen the money. It shocked me (I don't know why because it was technically my own fault) but the bank luckily didn't tell me off and said that they could refund me the money. They then just told me to keep my laptop updated and make sure I always log out of my internet banking too after using it and within 48 hours the money had been put back into my bank and they had sent me a new card and told me to dispose of my old one.

A few years later I took some money out of my bank at one of the ATM machines outside my local Morrison's and I just went about my day and did some shopping at various places. Then I think it was the next day or day after I was trying to buy something online (surprise, surprise) and it just wouldn't go through and authorise the payment and kept saying failed and then after trying it three times I was then locked out of my bank account and was told to contact my bank. Ugh. So I called the bank and they said that I had spent well over £200 in Sainsbury's (which I'd never do fyi) and it had drained my bank account basically. So I told them that it wasn't me, I don't ever spend that much money in Sainsbury's anyway and to be fair, I very rarely shop there. They asked security questions like last time and asked if I used a different ATM than usual which I had at my local Morrison's. So they then said it was highly likely that a scammer had either put in a fake keypad which picked up all my information and a scam card reader and then have made a fake card using my details, which is mad isn't it? So luckily they could see that I don't shop often or spend that much money in Sainsbury's and agreed to refund me the money and send a new card out and told me to dispose of my old one. Apparently the scammers had stolen quite a few other people's details around the same time it happened to me (including my dad) and Morrison's closed down their tills until it was investigated by the police I'm guessing. So now I'm always wary when using ATM machines, I try not to use them much anymore and just use my card in shops or do any money transfers via my online app instead of drawing any money out. 

I now always make sure that my internet security and laptop updates are up to date and I make sure that I always log out on my online banking when I've finished using it too. If I do happen to use a ATM machine I always cover my pin details with my hand when I'm typing it in too, just in case anyone has put in a camera or even looking over my shoulder. Unfortunately my town seems to keeping getting hit by these ATM fraudsters so it's just bad luck I guess that you get your details stolen. They even looked at CCTV in Sainsbury's when I had money stolen from the ATM scammer but they couldn't see the person's face who was using the till that had apparently used my card details, which is annoying. I also still find it quite scary that someone managed to get my details just by my laptop and internet security not being up to date and it definitely made me more alert that when a update pops up to actually update it ASAP.

Have you ever had your details stolen? Also if you're intrigued by other ways fraudsters have stolen people's details then you can read about the biggest data breaches of 2018 here.

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*this post is in collaboration, all opinions are my own