Facebook message persuaded me to hand fraudsters my personal details

Credit cards USA

Today I was subjected to an attempted fraud. The fraudsters made contact using Facebook Messenger and the identity of one of my friends, a former colleague.

They persuaded me to believe that I had been a winner in a Facebook lottery. I pulled out before giving any bank or card details, but did reveal more information than I would have liked – my name, home address, date of birth, email, mobile and occupation.

I am worried that the information I did provide might be used or sold on. If you have any advice on how I can take steps to limit any further damage, I would be very grateful for you to provide it.

PC, by email

Credit USA

That doesn’t sound much fun, but had you handed over your bank card details, it could have been a whole lot worse. In your shoes, I would be aiming to make sure I had two-step verification turned on for my email – if you haven’t already. If any of your passwords used your date of birth or similar, I would change them asap. In fact it is probably worth changing them anyway.

Unfortunately, you have given the fraudsters enough information to enable them to pose as you to buy goods and services. For this reason I would sign up for the Cifas’s protective registration, which costs £25 for two years.

This will place a warning flag against your name and other personal details on the Cifas national fraud database. This tells firms using Cifas data to pay special attention when you or someone else uses your details to apply for their products or services. So if someone applies for, say, a mobile phone contract in your name, they should face enough extra security checks to halt the transaction.

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In the meantime, closely monitor your bank account and be extra vigilant if you get calls from people posing as bank or other employees. Good luck.

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