Easy mistake allows thieves to steal thousands

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.

Coates’ experience serves as a reminder for travellers to take digital security seriously:

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

Never use the same login details for multiple accounts.

Avoid storing sensitive information like IDs in your phone case.

 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.

Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Trelawney Bresic

Trelawney is a journalist and screenwriter. She began her career at the Euro Weekly News twenty years ago and is passionate about honest and compelling journalism. If you have a news story, don't hestitate to get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com


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