Identity fraud is a problem that can affect anyone. However, simple precautions can help you protect yourself. Follow these tips to help ensure you don’t become a victim of identity theft.
Lenders will use the address details you provide to check your identity, and being on the electoral register provides evidence you’re living at the address you provided. A credit application which has a different address to the one on the electoral register may indicate it’s fraudulent.
Keep your full name, date of birth and address off your social media accounts and don’t share anything you use as a password, such as your dog’s name or wedding anniversary. Additionally, don’t share information, such as being on holiday or where your mail is left when you’re out.
For an administration fee of £20.00, Cifas — the UK's fraud prevention service — can place a 'Protective Registration' warning on your credit file. This will tell lenders you think your personal information is at risk of being used fraudulently. When they receive an application with your details, they'll make more checks to ensure the person applying is you and not a fraudster. It may mean that any applications you make are delayed while there's further verification of your I.D. — but it's better to be safe than sorry.
You should contact your lenders immediately if you suspect you're a victim of identity theft. They can stop further spending and start a fraud investigation. When they confirm the fraud, they'll ask TransUnion to remove the details related to this from your file. In this way, the activities of the fraudster won’t affect the likelihood of you getting credit in the future.
Anyone can fall victim to identity theft or fraud. Some warning signs that suggest you might be a victim and a fraudster is using your details to obtain goods or services in your name include:
Checking your credit report regularly will also help you to spot any unusual activity.
You can place a 'Protective Registration' warning on your credit file. This tells lenders you think your personal information is at risk of being used fraudulently. You can find out more about CIFAS and the services they offer at www.cifas.org.uk.