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Use credit reference agencies to protect yourself from fraud

A convicted fraudster has told the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau’s (NFIB) proactive intelligence team that everyone who opens a bank account, should be forced to sign-up to a credit reference agency to protect themselves from criminals.


Credit reference agencies (CRAs) give lenders a range of information about potential borrowers, which lenders use to make decisions about whether they will offer you credit or not. They hold certain information about most adults in the UK.

Using a credit reference agency can help you spot if someone is misusing your personal information - before you suffer any financial loss. A credit report for example 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. 

A convicted fraudster told the NFIB: “I always use these agencies. Not only to search for victim’s details and credit ratings - but to protect my own identity. They will email you whenever someone applies for a bank account or loan/purchase etc in your name”.

He goes on to say that: “People should use these services rather than being victims for years and ruining their credit rating. If you are registered and I try to access your information, just by getting a single digit wrong on the ID procedure will block me out – forcing me to target someone else. For a small payment each month, it is definitely worth it. This should be mandatory for anyone opening a bank account”.

Some of the major credit reference agencies offer a credit report checking service that alerts you to any key changes on your credit file that could indicate potential fraudulent activity. 

Our ongoing Not With My Name campaign revealed that more than one in four of us living in the UK has fallen victim to an identity crime, losing on average £1,200 each. Follow out top tips to keep your identity safe.

To report a fraud and receive a police crime reference number, call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or use our online fraud reporting tool.

You can now also sign up for free to Action Fraud Alert to receive direct, verified, accurate information about scams and fraud in your area by email, recorded voice and text message.

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