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 To Check if Someone Is Using Your Identity For Fraud

Posted by Paul Anderson-Riley in Identity Theft on 3 April 2019 - Paul is a Credit Analyst at checkmyfile

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.

Once you know what you’re looking for, the warning signs should be much easier to spot.

Over the years we’ve covered the topic of identity theft numerous times, and not without reason, as the number of reported identity fraud cases continues to grow each year. Cifas (the not-for-profit fraud prevention membership organisation) saw almost 175,000 cases of identity fraud in the UK in 2017 – a 125% increase on the same period 10 years ago.

If you suspect you have been a victim of identity fraud, we strongly recommend checking your Credit Report as soon as possible; amongst other things it shows recent applications for credit, as well as detailing existing credit agreements held in your name.

If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile FREE for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month afterwards, which you can cancel anytime online, or by phone or email.

Identity fraud is very real but is easily misunderstood and sometimes overhyped. If left undetected, fraud can be a highly intrusive crime that could leave you out of pocket and make it more difficult for you to take out a loan, credit card or mortgage in the future.

These are just a few of the insights that your Credit Report can provide.

Suspicious credit searches

Search footprints provide an insight into when your Credit Report has been accessed (and to a degree – why). Because you need to give your permission for anyone to access your personal information, any search footprint that you don’t recognise can in rare cases be an early warning sign that someone is attempting to take out credit using your details.

But searches of your Credit Report can relate to much more than an application for credit. Your file also gets searched when you apply to, rent a property, apply for certain jobs or even use comparison sites to get insurance or utility quotes. The type of search footprint left for these searches are usually different to the ones left when your Credit File is checked when applying for credit – these searches are the ones you need to be on the lookout for.

There is a chance that you mightn’t recognise a some of the searches on your Credit Report at first glance – they will very often be listed against a company name rather than a ‘brand’ name, but a quick Google should help reveal what it relates to. The date of the search and type will also be listed.

If you’re ever in any doubt about any of the search footprints on your Credit Report, especially where it relates to a credit application, make sure you contact the company as soon as possible – it could be all it takes to spot fraud cases early on. As a checkmyfile customer, you can also get straight through to one of our Professional Credit Analysts, who will be able to advise you on the steps you should take.

Unrecognised Credit Accounts

Finding a credit account that you don’t think relates to you is a much more serious discovery.

You should go through your Credit Report carefully to make sure that you recognise all the accounts that are being reported. Much like credit searches, if you see any you don’t recognise, contact the organisation or lender in question straight away. Each account listed on your checkmyfile Credit Report will show you when the account was opened, the address where it is recorded and contact details for the organisation should you need them.

It’s rare to discover an account that has been opened fraudulently, but it does happen. Should you discover such an entry on your own report, you may need to seek removal by way of a Notice of Dispute. If you’re a checkmyfile customer we can help you through this process and raise disputes on your behalf with the CRAs.

Not all erroneous accounts on your report are guaranteed to be fraudulent: on rare occasions someone else’s information may appear as your own as a result of an admin error. In these cases the advice to inform the lender still remains, as the information on your Credit Report should be a reflection of your information and yours alone. If the lender agrees that there has been an error, it will inform the relevant Credit Reference Agencies on your behalf. Again, it might require you to dispute the information directly with the agencies in order to get it removed.

Unknown linked addresses

Finally, you should check your Reported and Linked Addresses. An unknown address could be an indication that someone has attempted to use your details to take out credit from a different address. They may provide a different address to have goods delivered but the entry itself can often end up on your report.

In instances where the organisation name has been reported we recommend direct contact with them to find out why they have linked you to the address.

If you have any evidence that an attempt has been made to commit fraud, you should contact your bank immediately – even if a would-be fraudster might have failed an attempt in the past, it doesn’t mean that their next try won’t be successful. Under these circumstances, there are measures that can be taken to grant you added protection against further attempts, such as adding a Cifas Victim of Impersonation marker to your file.

Unusual activity outside of your Credit Report

Your Credit Report is an invaluable tool when it comes to spotting early warning signs of fraudulent activity, but there are other things to look out for.

Our free-to-use Identity fraud Risk Estimator allows you to see where you might be vulnerable, based on your lifestyle and habits and includes a vast amount of information about what to watch out for and how better to protect yourself against fraudsters.

If you haven’t already, you can try checkmyfile FREE for 30 days, then for just £14.99 a month, which you can cancel online, by phone or by email. You’ll get access to the UK’s most detailed Credit Report, along with support from our UK-based professionally-qualified Credit Analysts if you need it. Subscribers also benefit from free Identity fraud Assistance, should you fall victim while a customer.

Coronavirus Fraud: Protecting your Identity and your Finances

While individuals, communities, and governments around the world are fighting to control the coronavirus pandemic, fraudsters in the UK have unbelievably ramped up their efforts to prey on the vulnerable. The fear and desperation generated by the coronavirus have made a fertile breeding ground for scammers and imposters of all sorts, so extra vigilance is needed to protect your wallet and your identity.

Published on 9 Apr 2020 by Sam Griffin

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What's a Politically Exposed Person (PEP) & Why is it on my Report?

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.

Published on 28 Feb 2020 by Paul Anderson-Riley

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How Protective Registration Can Help You

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.

Published on 8 Jan 2020 by George Coburn

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Affected by the Marriott Hack? Here’s What To Do

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.

Published on 30 Nov 2018 by Jamie Mackenzie Smith

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Tesco Online Grocery List Disappears

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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Are linked addresses on your credit file a bad thing

Your Credit Report can surprise you: it can include reference to an address you have long-forgotten about or sometimes even an address you have never heard of, which is one of the reasons it’s important to check in every now and then.

Published on 30 Jul 2018 by Ian Carpenter

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Loan Fee Fraud: The £3.5 Million a Year Scam

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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Protecting yourself against identity theft online

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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Personal Data in the Wake of Facebook/Cambridge Analytica

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.

Published on 6 Feb 2018 by George Coburn

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