Covid 19 Status

In line with HM Government requirements to fight the spread of Covid-19 we have measures in place to ensure that we protect our staff, their families and the wider community, but also to ensure that there is minimal disruption to our customers.

Your access to online Multi Agency Credit Reports, Expert Help and Account Management remains unaffected. We take great pride in the support that we provide to our customers and throughout this period will do all we can to minimise the impact on our services. While the country remains in lockdown we will continue to support your queries via a dedicated and experienced team that will be securely working from home, and supported by a Management Team that will continue to be based at our head office and who will be able to provide customer support as required.

The security measures that we have in place to protect your Personal Data, in line with our Privacy Policy, will mean that some elements of our personalised support are affected during this period as our support team will be working with anonymised data when working remotely. Freephone access to our Credit Analysts has been removed during this period while we focus our efforts on continuing to reply to all of your emails and secure messages within one working day.

Thanks for your understanding, and we hope to have full customer support available as soon as possible and wish you well during these challenging times.

CREDIT REPORT SERVICES AND ONLINE EXPERT HELP ARE FULLY OPERATIONAL - PHONE LINES ARE CLOSEDCOVID-19 STATUS

ONLINE SERVICES FULLY OPERATIONAL
PHONE LINES ARE CLOSEDCOVID-19 STATUS

How Protective Registration Can Help You

Posted by George Coburn in Identity Theft on 8 January 2020 - George is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

One harsh truth about fraud is that, if you have fallen victim to one of the many fraud rings operating in the UK, it is possible 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’s the possibility that another may still try its luck with you. For this reason, it is often appropriate to put certain measures in place to protect you from future fraudulent attempts to open credit in your name.

What is Protective Registration?

Protective Registration is a fraud protection service offered by Cifas that aims to protect your identity by ensuring that any credit applications made using your details undergo extra security checks.

By registering with Cifas, you can have ‘Protective Registration’ placed on your Credit Report for two years at a cost of £25. This will inform lenders, mobile phone suppliers, and any organisation that checks your Credit Report that you’ve been a victim of fraud – and that the application shouldn’t be processed automatically.

Whenever your Credit Report is accessed during an application, the organisation you’ve applied with will be required to look at the application in more detail and ascertain whether it is suspicious or genuine. You would then be contacted if it needs to verify your details.

Is there a downside to Protective Registration?

It’s important to note that having a fraud prevention marker on your Credit Report will not harm your creditworthiness. It exists solely to protect your information. Once a potential lender, for instance, has completed the required security checks and is confident that your application is genuine, it will be processed as normal.

One of the only drawbacks of having this placed on your Credit Report is that whenever you apply for credit, your application will likely be delayed. Regular automated credit checking processes often aren’t employed when a Fraud Alert is found, which – considering it’s designed to protect you – is usually for the best.

By manually reviewing the application, the organisation can ensure a greater level of certainty that the application is genuine before approving a new product or line of credit. Although the Fraud Alert won’t impact your creditworthiness, the delays mean it may be worth considering how ‘at risk’ you are of future fraud before having Cifas Protective Registration placed on your Credit Report.

How common is identity fraud?

In the year ending March 2016, the Office of National Statistics estimated a total of 3.8m fraud offences 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 credit in the victim’s name or purchase high value goods which can then be sold on.

According to Cifas, identity fraud rose in 2018 by 8%, mostly with those aged under 21 and those over 60.

How do I spot identity fraud?

It is common practice for banks and lending institutions to write to new customers welcoming them to the company. This is often backed up by text message and email. For someone who hasn’t made an application, receiving this correspondence is usually when it first becomes clear that they’re victim of fraud.

If you receive an unexpected letter mentioning a new credit card, loan, or product you didn’t ask for, it’s vital that you immediately contact the company that sent the letter. Finding the company’s contact details from its official website will ensure you talk to the right people, as fake phishing letters and emails may use false contact details. If an account is opened fraudulently in your name, the organisation should close the account and wipe any entry from your Credit Report.

In the absence of such a notification, it may not be until someone checks their Credit Report that they first notice strange, unrecognised activity such as Credit Application Searches they didn’t make or Credit Accounts they didn’t open. Linked Addresses that seemingly have nothing to do with you can also be a sign of identity theft.

Who do I contact if I’m victim of fraud?

Contacting the company listed against a new account or product is crucial. If fraudulent activity has taken place, the company can close the account and wipe any resultant entry from your Credit Report and the sooner it is tackled, the better.

Visiting the official Action Fraud website will allow you to log the activity with the police. You will also get a Crime Reference Number, which some banks and lending institutions require before investigating claims of fraud.

Informing your bank that you’ve fallen victim to fraud should prompt them to cancel your existing card(s) and issue a new one. They can also offer advice about protecting yourself, specific to your situation.

Contacting Cifas will allow you to apply for Protective Registration. This can defend against further attempts to use your identity, so is a strong reactive measure. You can check for the Cifas marker by viewing your Multi Agency Credit Report, where it will be listed under ‘Fraud Alerts’.

Because your Credit Report details the Credit Accounts, Linked Addresses, and Credit Application Searches held in your details, you can use it to spot any records that you don’t recognise.

How do I check my Credit Report?

Our Multi-Agency Credit Report is the most detailed Credit Report in the UK, having complete information from all four Credit Reference Agencies, including the Protective Registration entries, searches, and accounts in your details. You can try checkmyfile free for 30 days, then just £14.99 per month, which you can cancel easily at any time online.

Rest easy knowing you’ve checked everything from the four Credit Reference Agencies, all in one easy-to-use format and with expert help from Professional Credit Analysts on hand, should you need it.

Updated on 08/01/2020 by Sam Griffin

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PEP stands for Politically Exposed Person, which typically relates to an individual who holds a prominent public position or function. Through their public position, there is potential that they may be vulnerable to financial crime, such as bribery, money laundering, and general abuse of public office for personal gain.

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Scams and fraudsters may have evolved to become more sophisticated over time, but when it comes to fighting back, one piece of advice has stayed true: If you’re concerned that you might have fallen victim to identity fraud or want to better protect yourself against it, your Credit Report is one of the best places to turn.

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If you’re one of the 500 million consumers to have stayed in a Marriott-owned Starwood chain hotel in the past four years, there’s a chance your personal information could have been compromised in what could be the second biggest ever data breach.

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After well over 10 years of using Tesco’s online grocery service, all of sudden, all of my Tesco order history has disappeared, alongside all the information stored in My Favourites – purchases made in-store and online over the past 13 months, My Usuals, and My Shopping Lists.

Published on 9 Oct 2018 by Barry Stamp

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Published on 30 Jul 2018 by Ian Carpenter

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For people facing financial hardship, sometimes taking out a loan to tide things over can seem like the most viable solution. But if you’re out of work or have a lower-than-average credit rating, it can be harder to get credit from mainstream lenders and mean that more expensive forms of finance in the sub-prime market are the only viable option. It often feels like a hopeless situation.

Published on 8 Jun 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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Modern day fraudsters are now able to use the internet as a helpful tool to acquire a vast amount of information about an individual just from using their name. From this, they start to build a portfolio of data that they can then use to obtain credit, bank accounts and sign up for other services. By following a few simple steps you can help to reduce the risk of being exposed to a fraudster online.

Published on 22 May 2018 by Paul Anderson Riley

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Strange as it might sound to some, huge numbers of people routinely complete online surveys through Facebook to find out which football player they are most like, which Hogwarts house they should be in or how much money they will be earning in 2050. The truth is, every time you volunteer seemingly innocuous information or consent to share profile information with an app, your data is probably going somewhere to be used for another purpose.

Published on 17 Apr 2018 by Paul Anderson-Riley

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Identity Fraud: What To Do If It Happens To You

Year on year, there has been a substantial rise in the number of identity fraud cases being reported to organisations such as Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. It’s no real surprise when you consider the crime can be committed from the comfort of someone’s home without ever having to risk showing their face.

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