Some days, it feels like it’s impossible to switch on the TV without seeing a report about a hacker stealing customer details or a new credit card scam.
Is it any wonder, then, that this Halloween many of us will be fretting more about our finances than the possibility of ghosts and werewolves lurking in dark corners?
What a nightmare
New research* carried out for us has revealed that people’s top financial fear is their credit or debit card being cloned. This could allow the fraudster to use their duplicate cards to withdraw money from your account or go on a shopping spree with you left to pick up the bill.
This might explain why nearly a third of respondents to the survey listed this as their top financial fear. However, it seems that – thankfully – their fears outweigh the reality, as just over one in 20 respondents said this had actually happened to them in the last year.
In fact, the reality of falling victim to cybercrime may be further off than some worry. Just one in 10 respondents claimed they had been the victim of this type of crime over the last year.
While this shows that it is a risk, there are other financial fears that are far more likely to happen than cybercrime. Survey respondents’ second top fear was not having enough money in their account to pay their bills, and this was also the fear that had come true for the most people over the last 12 months.
Meanwhile, just 3% of respondents were worried about being rejected for credit, but this had actually happened to double this figure (7%). While it may not sound as scary as being the victim of fraud or getting mugged, being rejected for credit can be a nightmare if you’ve had your heart set on taking out a mortgage, credit card or loan.
Banish the fear
Perhaps the best way to avoid befalling one of these financial fears is vigilance. If you’re worried about cybercrime or fraud, there are tips you can follow to reduce your risk or encountering it – like always keeping your account details secret and treating anything suspicious, such as a misspelt email claiming to be from your bank, with caution.
Vigilance could also play a part in you reducing your chances of being rejected for credit. As well as using credit responsibly, you can take care to check your credit report regularly and make sure there are no errors on it that might stand against you. Using this opportunity to update details like your address if they’re out of date could also stand in your favour.
By following these tips, you could reduce the risk of your finances giving you a fright this Halloween – although we don’t have any tips for keeping the ghosts and monsters away.
With Halloween fast approaching, we’ve put together a spooktacular website with a variety of articles on frightening finance, ghostly guests haunting your home and much more.
*OnePoll questioned a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults aged 18 and over between 24th September and 3rd October 2014.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.