Finding a credit account that you don’t think relates to you is a much more serious discovery.
Identity thieves are hard at work, finding new and creative ways to cash in using other people’s personal information.
This may happen online, through email or phone scams, spyware on your computer, or even just stolen mail. Criminals are usually trying to steal money directly or to set up fake accounts in someone else’s name.
When it comes to fighting back, one piece of advice has stayed true. If you are concerned that you might have fallen victim to identity fraud or want to better protect yourself against it, your Credit Report is one of the best places to turn.
If you suspect you have been a victim of identity fraud, it is good to check your Credit Report as soon as possible, amongst other things it shows recent applications for credit, as well as details of existing credit agreements held in your name.
Identity fraud is very real but is easily misunderstood and sometimes overhyped. If left undetected, fraud can be a highly intrusive crime that could leave you out of pocket and make it more difficult for you to take out a loan, credit card, or mortgage in the future.
Search footprints provide an insight into when your Credit Report has been accessed because you need to give your permission for anyone to access your personal information, any search footprint that you don’t recognize can in rare cases be an early warning sign that someone is attempting to take out credit using your details.
But searches of your Credit Report can relate to much more than an application for credit. Your file also gets searched when you apply to, rent a property, apply for certain jobs, or even use comparison sites to get insurance or utility quotes.
The type of search footprint left for these searches are usually different from the ones left when your Credit File is checked when applying for credit, these searches are the ones you need to be on the lookout for.
There is a chance that you might not recognize some of the searches on your Credit Report at first glance, they will very often be listed against a company name rather than a ‘brand name, but a quick Google should help reveal what it relates to. The date of the search and type will also be listed.
Finding a credit account that you don’t think relates to you is a much more serious discovery. You should go through your Credit Report carefully to make sure that you recognize all the accounts that are being reported.
Much like credit searches, if you see any you don’t recognize, contact the organization or lender in question straight away.