Credit cards can be a phemonenal personal finance tool, but if account information is lost or stolen, they can also cause endless frustration. PrivacyWise™ UK is a reference guide that helps you:
Being a victim of crime can be very distressing, making it difficult to focus on the steps required to start to address the situation. If you’ve been a victim of account take-over or identity theft, then read our next steps below to help start getting back-on-track.
Bank and credit card issuers are often very good at identifying fraudulent activity on an account, and it is often the case that a call from a bank is the first we hear of account take-over. When this is case the bank/issuer will guide the victim through the process of resolving the issue.
When the victim identifies suspicious activity on their account before the bank, it is essential that the bank/issuer is contacted immediately.
If a card is used without the holder’s knowledge, the issuer is liable for most losses, if the holder did not act without reasonable care (informing the issuer of suspicious activity is considered to be part of reasonable care). Use our Credit Card Issuer Contact Details page to quickly find the correct number for your card issuer.
If you think you have been the victim of Identity Theft there are a number of steps you should quickly take to help address the problem.
The first step in addressing Identity Theft is to contact the police and report the crime. This could be done at a local police station, but the best place to report identity theft crime is with ActionFraud (0300 123 2040) – The UK’s National Fraud Police Team (www.actionfraud.police.uk)
Different organisations source data from different credit reference agencies when applications for credit are made (including mobile phone contracts). There are three credit reference agencies in the UK and they should all be contacted, as they can add security features to credit files to prevent further crime being committed.
Once steps have been taken to prevent further crime from being committed, it is wise to contact the organisations who have been defrauded. These organisations will be in a position to verify to the credit reference agencies that the credit applications relating to the crime which appear on the credit report should be removed, or notes added to explain the situation. They may also want to instigate their own investigation as to how the crime occurred.
One of the common offline methods criminals use to obtain a victim’s data is to intercept legitimate post. People who are unaware of the method that has been used to obtain their details should contact the Post Office and ask them to investigate.
People who think that Identity Theft crime may have left them financial vulnerable should contact their local Citizens Advice, for guidance as to the next steps to take.
People who have been distressed by the experience of Identity Theft crime can contact Victim Support for help and support.