Identity fraud happens when someone steals your personal details and uses them for their financial gain. This usually means fraudsters will apply for credit in your name.
We know it’s worrying if you discover you’ve been a victim of a ID fraud, but fortunately we have a dedicated support team ready to help. This page will also guide you through the best steps to take to make sure you clear up your credit report and protect yourself in the future.
What to do if you’re a victim of ID fraud
Check your credit report
If you’ve been a victim of ID fraud, then it’s important to see the full picture. This means getting hold of your credit report with Experian and the other two credit reference agencies (Equifax and TransUnion).
Once you have this you can see if there are new searches or accounts you did not apply for. You can then contact the lenders directly or use our support team to help you query all the relevant entries.
Use Experian’s Victim of Fraud support team
Every year we help over 10,000 people clear up their credit reports after they’ve been a victim of ID fraud. Once you’ve checked your report just contact us and we can raise queries directly with the lenders on your behalf.
Our specialist ID fraud team will be there to support you clearing up your credit report. This can include:
- Disputing all fraudulent information with lenders
- Discussing additional security options such as Cifas or a credit report password
- Future report check-ins by our fraud team
Once your information has been disputed and confirmed as fraudulent, the lender will remove this from your report.
Contact lenders if you’ve received any bills, statements or demand notices
If you’ve received any suspicious mail through the door like bills or statements, then it can be a good idea to contact that specific lender directly to let them know you didn’t open the account. They can begin their investigation at this stage and if you haven’t checked your credit report yet then this is the time to do so.
Add a Notice of Correction password to your report
If you’ve recently been a victim of ID fraud, or are at a high risk, then adding a notice of correction password to your report might be a good idea.
We would usually only recommend this if you’ve been a victim or suffered a house burglary or robbery where important identification documents may have been stolen.
Contact Action Fraud
Report your case to Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud and internet crime reporting centre. They’ll advise on the steps you need to take and any other organisations you should contact.
How do I protect myself?
Once you’ve been a victim of ID fraud, you’re likely to be concerned this might happen again. If you follow these general tips then you can greatly reduce the risk that you’ll be a victim in the future.
Add a notice of correction password to your credit report
Add a password nobody else would know or could guess. If a fraudster applies for credit in your name, the lender should request this password before opening a credit account.
Don’t respond to cold calls or emails
This scam is typically known as phishing, where fraudsters will contact you and try to get you to give them information. Remember to be cautious and put the phone down and call back later if you’re concerned. Finally, never click links in emails asking you to log in, and never download attachments from unknown emails.
Be careful on social media
We love to share information on social media, but you should be careful about posting personal information. For example, pets’ names, address details or when you’re on holiday.
Check your credit report
It’s a good idea to check your report annually. This will let you see if there’s anything you don’t recognise. If there is, we can help you query it with the lender.
Destroy or shred mail
Destroying or shredding unwanted mail is the best way to stop a fraudster getting their hands on your personal details.
Secure your home WiFi
Make sure your home WiFi has a secure password set up. Try and change this from the generic password provided by the company and also make sure it’s something not easy to guess.
Be careful on public WiFi
If you use public WiFi hotspots to access internet services, never use this to sign in to personal accounts. Don’t use it to log in to any online banking services or email.
Have secure passwords
Keep your passwords as secure as possible by having complex and unique passwords for all your accounts. We know it’s more convenient to have one password for all accounts, but this makes a fraudsters job much easier.