Alliance & Leicester / Identity fraud
A 22-year-old assistant manager with a financial institution in Manchester, never gave much thought to identity fraud until he received an email last November from Alliance & Leicester telling him that his 'application for a credit card was being processed'. Marc hadn't applied for a credit card so he contacted A&L, who immediately cancelled the application. Unfortunately the criminal - who had got hold of Marc's date of birth, email and postal addresses among other bits of key information, such as his salary – had applied for other loans and cards and Marc continued to receive emails alerting him to new applications under his name.
Concerned, Marc contacted the police but was still extremely worried about the extent of the criminal's activity under his name and how this could affect his credit score as he had been planning to get a loan to buy a new car. It was also time consuming and extremely frustrating dealing with lenders individually to try and cancel each application and get removed from their records.
At this point Marc saw an advert for a credit reference agency and joined immediately to check his credit report. Once registered, Marc found a further five applications in his name that were fraudulent. The Victims of Fraud team at Experian stepped in to help Marc, and a note was attached to his credit report explaining that he had been the victim of attempted ID fraud. Enquiries were then launched with each of the organisations involved to help Marc recover his identity and rectify his credit report as soon as possible. Marc was given regular progress reports until the matter was fully resolved.
Marc said, "It was a huge relief. Before this happened I never thought twice about ID fraud and certainly didn't think I'd end up becoming a victim of it. I'm now extremely vigilant about getting rid of my confidential information to make sure that it's not out there for criminals to exploit and I check my credit report every week to make sure no further applications have been made in my name fraudulently. It may seem like a chore at the time but having these simple processes in place will hopefully save a lot of hassle and heartache down the line."
Recent research by CreditExpert found that almost two thirds (63%) of victims of identity fraud discovered they had become a victim by noticing fraudulent activity on their credit report, while 15% of victims discovered their identity had been compromised after being contacted by a financial services company. Safeguarding all your private information and monitoring your credit report helps to ensure you are one step ahead of fraudsters.