Although rare, identity fraud is becoming an increasing problem. If you fall victim to fraud, this could potentially cause you a lot of stress and damage your credit worthiness, as you become responsible for the credit actions you did not make.
Checking your credit report regularly enables you to see any changes on your credit report which will help you spot financial fraud quickly. If anyone is trying to obtain some sort of credit in your name, you’ll be able to identify this in the searches section of your report. This section has a lists all of the ‘hard’ credit searches carried out in your name. If there are any hard searches within this list that you unaware of and don’t recognise, it could potentially be fraud.
If you believe you are a victim of fraud, you should double check in the first instance with the named lender or get in touch with your bank to report and stop any unusual activities. You should also report any fraudulent activity to Action Fraud.
If you believe you’re vulnerable to identity fraud/theft (e.g. you’ve had your personal information stolen), I recommend you sign up for the protective registration service from CIFAS. Once you have Protective Registration, a flag is placed alongside your name and personal details in a secure National Fraud Database. This service is used to carry out extra security checks whenever credit applications are made in your name and it protects your identity from misuse.
The service currently cost £25 and gives you cover for two years. Also, if you dealing with an organisation that has recently lost or leaked sensitive data, this service could help you prevent people from using that information for fraudulent activities.