How Protective Registration Can Help You

Posted by George Coburn in Identity Theft on 20 October 2016 - George is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

One harsh truth about fraud is that if you have fallen victim of one of the many fraud rings operating in the UK, it is quite likely that you’ll be targeted again.

Fraudsters will often sell the details of potential victims to each other, so even if one fraud ring has moved onto someone else, there is nothing to say a different one won’t try to their luck as well. For this reason, it is often appropriate to put certain measures in place in order to protect you from future fraudulent attempts to open credit in your name.

By registering with Cifas, you can have ‘Protective Registration’ placed on your credit file for 2 years at a cost of £20 and this will make lenders aware that you’ve been the victim of fraud in the past. Whenever your credit file is accessed for the purpose of providing credit, the lender will be able to look at the application and ascertain whether it is suspicious or genuine. You would then be contacted if the lender needs to verify anything about the application.

The consequence of having this placed on your file is that whenever you personally apply for credit, your application will likely get delayed due to the notice as the company won’t be able to process it automatically. Although the notice won’t impact your creditworthiness, it is worth ascertaining whether you believe you are at risk of future fraud before having Cifas Protective Registration placed on your file.

In the year ending March 2016, the Office of National Statistics estimates a total of 3.8m fraud offenses were committed in the UK and the percentage of fraud that is classed as identity theft is massively increasing each year. In a typical case of identity fraud, a fraudster will take on the identity of someone else and then apply for as much credit in the victim’s name or purchase high value goods which can then be sold on.

The whole process can leave an individual in a substantial amount of distress and it can add hours of long stressful phone calls to lenders to advise them of the fraudulent applications (if known). It is relatively common practice for lenders to write out to consumers welcoming them to the company and this is often the first time a person will be made aware they’re the victim of fraud. Otherwise, it may not be until someone checks their credit file that they’re made aware of applications by looking at the search history with the credit reference agency or they spot accounts they know they didn’t open.

Our Multi-Agency report obtains credit search application information from all the agencies so it is easy to monitor whether there have been fraudulent applications in your name. You are also able to check to see whether Cifas has updated the credit reference agencies with Protective Registration.

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