Identity theft happens when fraudsters access enough information about someone’s identity (such as their name, date of birth, current or previous addresses) to commit identity fraud. Identity theft can take place whether the fraud victim is alive or deceased.
If you’re a victim of identity theft, it can lead to fraud that can have a direct impact on your personal finances and could also make it difficult for you to obtain loans, credit cards or a mortgage until the matter is resolved.
- Don’t throw out anything with your name, address or financial details without shredding it first.
- Your bank or building society will NEVER ask for your full login details or PIN.
- Check your statements carefully and report anything suspicious to your bank.
- If you move house, ask Royal Mail to redirect your post for at least a year.
- Check your personal credit report to check no one has applied for credit in your name. A credit report will show you any searches done by a lender, what date the search took place, what name and address it was done against and also for what type of application. It will also show what credit accounts are set up in your name. Example credit reference agencies which you can contact to receive support in resolving credit report problems caused by identity fraud include: Callcredit, Equifax, Experian, ClearScore, Noddle. (Other agencies are available. West Yorkshire Police in no way recommends those listed.)
You may also be interested in the CIFAS Protective Registration service, this can reduce the risk of identity fraud. Once you have Protective Registration, a flag is placed alongside your name and personal details on a secure National Fraud Database. Companies and organisations who are signed up as members of the database will see this flag and take extra steps to protect you, preventing fraudsters from using your details to apply for products and services.
Protective Registration offers peace of mind and a reduction in the risk of becoming a victim of fraud. As such, when you apply for financial products and services, the process may take slightly longer than before, as extra checks will be made on applications with your details.
Companies who are signed up to our database may also get in touch with you to make those checks before processing your application. For more information and to apply, please visit www.cifas.org.uk/services/identity-protection/protective-registration.
For more information and what to do if you’re a victim of identity fraud, visit:
Page last reviewed April 2023