Your identity and personal information are valuable assets and are highly sought after by criminals.
Your 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 in your name.
Criminals will try anything to get their hands on your personal information, even physically going through your bins to find discarded documents. More commonly today, personal details are stolen through phishing emails or other types of electronic scams whereby victims are tricked or manipulated into surrendering their information.
Identity theft will often result in fraud taking place in your name, not only potentially impacting you financially, but affecting your credit score and costing the Government and financial services industry billions of pounds each year. Those whose identities are stolen may well have difficulty in obtaining loans, credit cards or a mortgage.
What should I do if I become a victim of fraud?
Your credit report contains personal information about you and your financial situation, as well as a record of each time any organisation has accessed your Crediva credit report. You can request your Statutory Credit Report at any time, or use a paid service such as CheckMyFile.
If there’s something on your credit report that you don’t recognise, an application for credit may have been made illegally, using your details. You should start by contacting the organisation named on your file, both to discover more about why they accessed your credit report and to inform them that they may themselves be victims of fraud.
The ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) has further information about Identity Theft.