More and more people are becoming victims of financial identity theft. Is there hope for them to recover from the identity theft? Personal Loans Now discusses all the aspects of financial identity theft and ways to battle it.
Fraud Prevention organisation CIFAS have reported that in the first few months of 2017, identity fraud had reached record levels in the UK. Identity theft is the key to unlocking a person’s valuables and can have a devastating financial impact.
- What financial identity theft means
- Ways that fraudsters get personal data
- Ways that victims are affected
- Action to take in the event of fraud
- Contacting financial institutions
- Ways to report the fraud to the police
- Contacting credit rating agencies
- The importance of keeping in control
What is financial identity theft?
Identity theft is becoming more common as online technology makes personal data easier to use to commit fraud. Identity theft is when a person steals personal data or possessions to use the victim’s identity. Financial identity theft is when thieves use the information for financial gain, for example to get flexible and personal loans UK.
Many times people are unaware that they have become a victim until they receive a bill for something that they have not purchased, or try and apply for credit. Research conducted by Experian Credit’s Victims of Fraud team discovered that it takes an average of 292 days for many victims to realise that they have had their personal data used by a thief for financial purposes.
How do fraudsters get hold of personal data?
Studies by CIFAS have shown that most identity theft fraud is committed by the thieves who pretend to be the person to apply for loans like, unsecured loans for bad credit with no guarantor or to buy products. There are some ways that they can obtain personal data. One of the easiest ways is by stealing information gleaned from social media posts. Other ways include stealing mail, computer hacking and purchasing information on the dark web.
How are victims affected by financial identity theft?
Some people can be financially hit very hard when they become a victim of financial identity theft. Fraudsters can take out credit in their name or can even empty their bank accounts. These actions can damage a person’s credit score and can affect their creditworthiness in the future.
Luckily, you can reverse most financial fraud, but according to the Experian Fraud Team, this can be a very time-consuming procedure that can need 300 hours of work to correct. The emotional toll of financial fraud and the problems that it can cause can go on for a very long time after the fraud has been committed. For this reason, it is extremely important that you take the necessary steps quickly after one discovers the fraud.
- First of all, identity theft has reached record levels in the UK
- Secondly, financial identity theft is when someone steals personal data for financial gains
- In addition, computer hacking, social media and stealing post are some of the ways that people steal data
- Furthermore, it can take on average 292 days for some people to realise that money has gone from them
- Also, thieves assume identities to take out credit or make purchases
- Identity theft can damage People’s credit rating score
- Finally, one needs to take action immediately after discovering the theft
Has my identity been stolen?
If you think someone stole your financial identity, follow these steps:
1. Immediately contact your bank and any other creditors
The first step to recovering from financial identity fraud is to contact your bank and any other institutions that you may have debt consolidation loans for bad credit uk or credit cards with to inform them that you are a victim of fraud. You should inform them as to what cards are affected.
They are responsible for investigating your case and will sometimes contact the authorities to report the theft. They may ask for proof of identification or recent bank statements with your address on so make sure you have this and any other requests. If a financial institution contacts you regarding a matter that you have no knowledge of, make sure that you inform them immediately of the fact that you are a victim of identity theft.
2. Contact Action Fraud Police as soon as possible
Action Fraud is the UK’s reporting centre for cyber crimes and fraud. You can contact them by telephone on 0030 123 2040 or directly to their website which has an online reporting tool that victims can use. This service advises victims on the next steps that you should take and can provide information on the other institutions that will need to contact.
3. Contact credit reference agencies
Some credit rating agencies will inform the other agencies of their findings. You should request a credit report to check for any further fraudulent activities. Their fraud departments will work with victims to help them contact lenders to clear up their credit rating. You can carry out CIFAS protective registration to inform future lenders that you have been a victim of identity fraud in the past so that they will take more care over security measures when considering credit applications in your name.
4. Keep in control of the situation
If you fear that someone has tampered with your mail, such as mail redirection, you should let Royal Mail know right away so that they can check it out for you. Any correspondence regarding the fraud should be kept in case of any further problems in the future. People who have had passports or driving licences stolen must immediately contact the relevant authorities who issued them.
So what can we conclude about recovering from financial identity Theft?
Tech-savvy criminals can access people’s data to use for their own financial gains or to get quick and small personal loans, and cyber frauds are at their highest levels. By contacting the relevant institutions as soon as the crime is spotted the amount of damage to your finances will be easier to deal with. This will avoid further fraud and potential losses to your finances. People must not forget to protect their identities and not only their possessions.