Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Your identity and personal information are valuable assets and are highly sought after by criminals. Stolen personal details can be used to open bank accounts and obtain credit cards, loans, state benefits and documents such as passports and driving licences.

Criminals commit identity theft by misappropriating personal information. This is often achieved by seizing documents from perhaps your refuse containers left out for collection or by making contact with you via a scam, pretending to be from a legitimate organisation.

Identity theft will often result in fraud, affecting your personal financial circumstances, as well as costing government and financial services millions of pounds a year. If your identity is stolen, you may well have difficulty in obtaining loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is resolved.

What should I do if I become a victim of fraud?
Your credit report contains personal information about you and your financial standing, it contains details of each and every time a business or other organisation has accessed your credit report. You can obtain a copy of your credit report by requesting your Statutory Credit Report or by using a service such as CheckMyFile. If you find something on your credit report that you do not recognise, it could be that applications for credit have been made illegally using your details.

Should you find an item on your credit report that you do not recognise, it's important to know that the organisation listed on the report will also be a victim of the fraud. The organisations listed will be authorised customers using the Crediva service. Fraudsters will try to gain access to credit using your personal information, which then results in search activity on your credit file. A good first step is to discuss it with the organisation shown on your file to gain further details about the activity that resulted in the access of your credit report.

The ICO (Information Commissioner's Office) has further information about Identity Theft.