How to spot the warning signs of identity fraud

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Identity fraud can be damaging both financially and emotionally. Thankfully there are steps you can take to prepare and protect yourself and limit the chance of it happening.

If you are at risk of identity fraud, there are likely to be warning signs. Knowing what these are can help you spot the fraud early, keeping the damage to a minimum.

Actively look for signs of fraud

Check for unusual transactions

Always check your credit card and bank statements when you receive them, and make a habit of checking them online on a regular basis. Look for purchases you didn't make and charges you don't recognise.

Keep track of your mail

Not receiving regular bank or credit card statements could be a sign that they've been re-routed to a fraudster. The same goes for important personal documents you're expecting which fail to come through the post.

Check your credit report

You should check your credit report regularly as many of your financial accounts are detailed in it. According to our research, it takes an average of 292 days for people to discover their information has been used for fraudulent purposes. Checking your credit report lets you spot fraud early. Look out for:

  • Searches on your report made by lenders as a result of a credit application.
  • Home addresses that aren't yours.
  • Loans and accounts that you didn’t apply for.

You can now be alerted to certain signs of potential fraudulent activity with Experian's Identity Fraud Monitoring.

Other warning signs of fraud

  • Email confirmations for purchases you didn't make or emails demanding payment for an account you didn't set up.
  • Credit cards arriving in the post which you didn't apply for.
  • Bills from companies that you've had no dealings with.
  • Debt collection agencies contacting you about bills you don't recognise.
  • Being told that you've been approved or denied credit for accounts that you know nothing about.
  • Being refused when you apply for a loan or credit card even though you know you have a healthy credit score.

It can be easy to overlook emails in your already jam-packed inbox or to monitor everything coming through the post. But being vigilant and creating a monitoring routine can highlight suspicious activity and protect you from identity fraud.


Take control of your finances with CreditExpert

  • Your Experian Credit Report
  • Guidance on what's affecting your score and how you can improve it
  • Web monitoring and credit report alerts to help you spot fraud
  • Dedicated help if you're a victim of fraud
  • Support from our UK-based call centre team