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Easy mistake allows thieves to steal thousands

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A boat trip around Zante sparked a digital security nightmare for a British tourist
Credit: Zante/fb


A young holidaymaker named Lydia Coates has shared a cautionary tale on TikTok about a trip to Zante, Greece, that turned into a financial nightmare.


What started as a misplaced phone on a boat trip escalated into a major identity theft scare after the thief accessed her online banking using information gleaned from her phone case.


Never store your driving licence with your phone

Coates was using her birthday easily accessible from her driver s licence stored in her phone case as both her phone password and online banking access code. While the phone itself wasn t immediately compromised, the thief used this readily available information to drain her help-to-buy ISA, a significant chunk of her savings.


Despite assurances from boat trip organisers, a thorough search for the missing phone failed. Worse, upon returning home, Coates discovered a hefty unauthorised transfer to a stranger named Jessica. This seemingly idyllic holiday had transformed into a race against time to protect her identity and finances.


Identity theft protection

Fortunately, Coates managed to reclaim the stolen funds through her bank s fraud protection scheme. However, the ordeal left a lasting impact. She had to change all her bank details and sign up for identity theft protection, a constant reminder of the vulnerability exposed by her stolen phone.


Always use complex passwords for your phone and online accounts, avoiding easily guessable information like birthdays.


 Activate your phone s lock screen features, such as fingerprint or facial recognition, and consider anti-theft apps that can help track a missing device.


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