Identity Fraud

Identity fraud continues to be a growing problem in the UK. The theft of your identity can cause numerous problems to you. Not only do you have to deal with the stress of knowing that someone has fraudulently accessed your confidential personal details, there are many other implications of such loss of data.

Identity fraud often becomes most apparent to the victim when they realise the impact of the loss of their personal details and a source of credit being accessed in their name. Sources of credit obtained when an ID has been stolen generally come in two forms:

• A misappropriated identity is used to obtain money in the victims name either via a mortgage, loans or credit cards.
• ID fraud is committed to purchase goods or services on credit terms by using the victims personal details.

Stolen Identities can also be used for a number of other fraudulent activities.

• Impersonated identities are used to drive whilst disqualified.
• To obtain sources of employment that they would of otherwise of been prevented from e.g. working with children.
• I.D Fraudsters use personal details to obtain benefit payments, or avoid paying tax.

Identity theft & fraud is costing the UK economy many millions of pounds every year. CIFAS (The UK's Fraud Prevention Service) estimated the cost of ID fraud to be £1.2 billion in 2008, equating to 77,500 in reported cases.

• Protect Your Personal Details From Identity Fraudsters:
Criminals need very few personal details to commit identity theft and fraud. The main details that they will seek in order to open new credit accounts include your full name, date of birth, address and mothers maiden name. We highly recommend that you protect yourself against identity fraud and do not give any of these details out to anyone without first questioning their reasons for needing this information.

With many examples of identity fraud, the criminals are not opening new credit accounts in the first instance. We are seeing ever more frequently that criminals are using existing credit accounts (such as bank accounts, credit cards and store cards). These details are often accessed through phishing attacks or through discovering personal documents that have not been disposed of securely.

Identity theft can happen to anyone! You should remain vigilant as to who you are giving your personal details out to, how you are storing them and how you are disposing of any documentation that provides information which could be used by fraudsters.

We will be providing further articles and information on the subject of identity fraud in the near future. In the meantime, we highly recommend that you sign up to at least one personal credit report monitoring service. Credit monitoring services provide you with a copy of your credit report, thus enabling to see what sources of credit (if any) have already been accessed in your name, and provide you of notification when any new credit applications are made in your name. We have detailed two such credit monitoring services below:

• Equifax Credit Watch Gold : This personal credit report monitoring service from Equifax provides you with a FREE 30 day trial period, in which time you have unlimited online access to your personal credit reports and are provided with monitoring update notifications within 24 hours of each change to your personal credit history. Read more about Equifax Credit Watch Gold and start gaining the benefits of monitoring your personal credit file.

• Experian CreditExpert: A personal credit report monitoring service from Experian. This service offers a FREE 30 day trial period. The full service provides you with weekly alerts of significant changes to your personal Experian credit report. You can check your online credit report an unlimited number of times. Read more about Experian CreditExpert and start monitoring your Experian credit file.





Order Equifax Identity Watch Protection

Want to order a personal credit report service: Use the links below to place your order with Experian & Equifax:

Experian Get an Online Credit Report From Experian. Experian Credit Monitoring

Equifax Use Equifax to view your Credit Report and get monitoring alerts. Order Equifax Services Here: Use Equifax Credit Services!

The Credit Agency LEARN more about Credit Reports, the way lenders use them and how to Improve Your Credit Score: Personal Credit Report Articles!