Protecting your good name from account fraud, both in the cyber world and the offline world isn’t that difficult. You just need to know what to do. If you have been a victim of account fraud (i.e. your bank account) and/or identity theft / fraud this post should provide you the assurance you need to clear your good name.
UK banks will refund current accounts when you have been a victim of fraudulent transactions. However, they first need to prove you haven’t been negligent i.e. told someone your card PIN or your computer has been hacked as well as you might be scamming them. These are difficult to prove but when your bank speaks to you they will listen for “specific behaviours”, which might indicate to them you are not telling the truth.
How can you prove you didn’t commit the fraud?
- You will need to contact a Credit Reference Agency (CRA) Experian, Equifax and Callcredit. I suggest you call all three to purchase three credit reports. This will provide a complete picture of your credit profile.
- Your bank account highlights transactions you don’t recognise. Call your bank to speak with the fraud team. Think (and write down) about where you used your card in the past 3-4 weeks. Most fraud happens within a short window.
- You should also contact each CRA’s fraud teams as well as your bank and or credit card company. They will notice failed attempts to setup false accounts – red flag – this means it can be proved that the above account was not set up by you!
- Calling Action Fraud will not be that helpful to you (my personal opinion) – also it asks for additional data – why? intrusive – don’t use it. If you do want to report your fraud then here is the URL http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/
What can a CRA provide?
- Credit reporting / scores i.e. providing single report or triple reports analysis
- Computer protection i.e. anti-malware/firewall/anti-virus/password protection
- 24/7 access to trained ID Theft Resolution Specialists – includes identity recovery
- Identity theft Insurance (upto £50,000)
- Lost wallet/cards protection – will cancel and replace your cards/passport etc
Solutions – in the event you are a victim of fraud
- CIFAS Protective Registration (individuals) – places a warning flag against your name and personal details. There is a yearly fee (£20) for this service, which requires you to provide various identity documents. Note: Applying for any credit will take longer than normal once you use this service. Click > Protective Registration
- Bank account – apply for a daily limit on what you can withdrawal. This will also stop your account from being wiped out. Also make sure you have two current accounts, one for spending and one for bills.
- ATM withdrawals – insist on not being able to use an ATM one minute before (£300) and one minute after (£300) midnight – otherwise you will be £600 worse off! This is simple coding for the banks.
- Junk mail – lastly, shred all junk mail after opening them – the junk mail you receive contains valuable personal sensitive information about you and your family that is useful to fraudsters – and some junk mail may well expose a fraud against your good name.
CIFAS Protective Registration has been around for some years now. I’m amazed at how many people don’t know about it and how many in the media who write about fraud prevention, don’t know or reference it. You know about it now.
Worth remembering: If you do decide to purchase just a credit monitoring service you will have to pay extra for your credit score.
Remember: Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 protects consumers on any credit card purchases (this includes loss or theft) which cost over £100 and under £30,000. Note: This also applies when someone else fraudulently uses your credit card i.e. Chip & Pin fraud, Card Not Present (CNP) fraud etc.
TIP: YOU WILL NEVER NEED CREDIT CARD INSURANCE, SO SAVE YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY!