Posts Tagged With ‘identity-fraud&8217

Becoming a victim of identity theft

Becoming a victim of identify theft

Me and my wife became victims of identity theft/fraud recently. It could be scary experience for anyone in this situation,  here are some of the events that happened and damage limitation steps we have taken.

I received a call from one of the bank saying they received an application to open a current account and in the same time they received a request for a credit card application and it raised a security trigger in their system. They asked me to confirm whether I’ve applied for them, I replied back saying I haven’t, that’s the first instance I been informed, your identity could have been stolen, someone used your details to apply for bank account and credit card.

Now this is where the panic moment starts, because you really don’t know the potential of the damage, from this point you can only take precautionary measures.

I had an experian account for a long time which I never used, I glanced through the email and I can see clearly they reported an alert 7 days ago there is a credit search on my record. I logged into the system and can see on the report 4 searches been made in the past 7 days from different financial organisations, 2 of them are from the bank who called me earlier and 2 unknown.

I returned home that evening and was casually saying this to my wife, only then she highlighted she had received 2 new credit cards in here name in the last 2 days and she was about to ask me whether I applied for it. At this point I started to sense, the situation is getting worst. It’s not just my details, my wife’s details is also compromised. I asked her to contact both the credit card companies and inform them about the situation. They blocked those cards immediately.

That evening I made few research on things you should do, when you become a victim of identity fraud, since the implication could be very bad. It simply means someone can impersonate your identity and can do whatever they want including crime, apply for a telephone contract and call premium numbers, get hold of credit cards, bank accounts with over drafts and max out the balance, the bill of course will come to your address. Luckily these situations are pretty common and UK government spend over £3 billion a year on counter attacking identity theft. During the whole process I realised all the financial organisations are fully aware and have matured processes in place to counter attach this and they will work together.

Here are the important points, steps you should do

1. If you have an credit check account like Experian, Equifax or CreditCheck you contact them immediately, they provide a free victims of fraud service for anyone who has had their personal details used fraudulently. We have gone through all the recent credit checks and confirmed which one is genuine and which one is fraud.

2. Get in touch with Action Fraud it’s a UK government National Fraud and Cyber Crime reporting centre, they will record the case after getting all the details and give you a reference number. This is very important for you to defend against any financial loss.

3. Get in touch with CIFAX and inform them about the situation, they maintain the database of all confirmed fraud and they will put an alert against your name so the lenders will become bit more vigilant. They charge £20/year for one-off admin charges. Make a note of the case number they provide.

4. Also make sure if you have received anything in post you are suspicious about, things like new credit cards, bank account opening etc you contact relevant organisations and inform them about the situation.

You will need to follow the procedures separately for each individual, in my case me and my wife, since personal details are not related sometimes.

We still don’t know what could be the potential reason, but I suspect the recent mortgage application we submitted. We went through a broker who could have submitted the details to multiple brokers to get the best quote, but we can’t say for sure.

This is all we can do at this point and we really don’t know the actual impact, it may take months before things can become normal.