Protect yourself against identity fraud with help from Experian CreditExpert

Identity theft risks

What’s identify theft?

Identity fraud is the fraudulent practice of using another person's name and personal information in order to obtain credit. An identity thief gets your personal information by stealing your post, using your lost or stolen credit cards, or by involving you in telephone and email scams - then they use your details to steal your identity.

How does identity theft happen?

The post is one the most vulnerable areas of your life where identity fraud is concerned. 66% of identity fraud cases in 2015, were because of ‘present address fraud’. This is where someone living at the same address (often flats with communal postal delivery areas) steals your mail.

16% of cases were due to ‘previous address fraud’. This is when the criminal uses your name and a previous address to take over your identity. And 15% of cases involved a fraudster forwarding mail to a collection address.

Other popular identity fraud methods include:

  • Stealing your belongings
  • Tenancy fraud, where the tenant uses the landlord’s details to borrow money
  • Jackal fraud, when the criminal uses personal details of a deceased person
  • Using card details over the internet or phone

What’s an identify thief looking for?

It doesn’t take much to get hold of enough information to steal your identity. A stray envelope, an old catalogue, a bank statement or the contents of your wallet are just a few ways that divulge your personal information. A criminal can then pose as you and commit identity fraud by borrowing money and running up debts in your name.

Here are the top items that identity thieves are looking for:

  1. A bank statement
  2. A credit card statement
  3. Access to your social networking sites
  4. The security code on the back of your credit card
  5. Your driving licence or passport
  6. The reply to a phishing e-mail
  7. Your PINs and passwords
  8. A catalogue
  9. Your CV
  10. Online banking information

How do you spot identify theft?

  • Charges you don’t recognise appear on your statements
  • You receive calls or letters from collection agencies
  • Bills arrive from companies you haven’t dealt with
  • Your credit report contains accounts that you didn’t open, or applications for credit that you haven’t made

How do you protect yourself from identify theft?

Regularly checking your credit report is recommended by the Home Office as an effective method of protecting yourself from identity fraud.

Top tips to avoid identity theft include:

  • Shredding documents that contain your personal information – especially those on the above list
  • Leaving important documents, such as passports and driving licences, at home in a safe place, unless you really need to carry them around
  • Redirecting your post for at least a year when you move home
  • Installing a secure mailbox if your post could be intercepted when it’s delivered
  • Cancelling unused accounts that might be hijacked by an identity thief
  • Be wary of cold callers or e-mails asking for personal data
  • Registering to vote at your current address

How does CreditExpert help protect you from Identity Fraud:

Alerts

We regularly monitor your Experian Credit Report for certain changes which could be fraudulent activity - looking for things like new accounts, new applications for credit, and existing accounts falling into arrears. If we spot any of these changes we’ll send you a text or email alert to let you know.

Web Monitoring

We monitor your personal details for you across the web – and alert you if we find possible misuse. This monitoring is 24/7, and if we find your details being traded or used where they shouldn’t be, we’ll send you a text or email.

Support from the Victims of Fraud Team

If you’re a victim of fraud, CreditExpert customers are assigned an individual case worker. You tell them which accounts and applications are fraudulent and they’ll investigate and contact the companies and lenders on your behalf.

Once it’s all resolved we’ll continue monitoring your report for up to 12 months (as long as your still a member of CreditExpert) for any changes which we think might be fraudulent, and we’ll give further advice and support to help protect you in future.


Get your free Experian Credit Report & Score

Experian CreditExpert provides more than just your credit report, including:

  • Access to your Experian Credit Score
  • Personalised tips on how to improve your score
  • Dedicated, specialist help if you're a victim of fraud
  • Be alerted to certain credit report changes which could indicate potential fraudulent activity
  • Help and guidance from our UK based call centre team
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