Five Ways A Free Credit Report Can Help Protect You Against Fraud

Take Five Week is an awareness campaign run by UK Finance offering a range of tips to help people protect themselves against preventable financial fraud and encouraging the nation to stop and think before falling victim to some of the most popular scams. most common today.

In support of the campaign, Equifax, one of the nation’s leading credit reference agencies, is encouraging people to discover the power of their credit history in fighting financial crime.

Credit reports are more commonly used to check whether a person is eligible for credit, and credit scores are primarily designed to help people prepare for credit, but they are also an extremely effective tool in detecting and preventing fraud. .

Lisa Hardstaff, Head of Customer Experience for Equifax UK, explains: “Fraud is tragically even more of a problem in the UK than it was 12 months ago, and it is no exaggeration to say that we are currently in the middle of a “scam”. ‘.

“Con artists are taking advantage of change and uncertainty, and we’ve had both in abundance over the past year. With an explosion of technology, we have all sadly witnessed many devious techniques used by crooks to part with our hard earned money.

She continued, “Fortunately, we are not helpless in the face of this threat. As consumers, there is a lot that we can do to resist the persuasion techniques of scammers, and Take Five Week is a useful reminder to ask ourselves if a call, text, or email is right for you, and don’t be afraid to say “No” if so. t. “

“The business community also has an important role to play in fighting fraud and protecting consumers from exploitation, and credit reference agencies such as Equifax are an essential part of this vital security infrastructure.” , added Ms. Hardstaff.

Below are five ways credit reference agencies like Equifax help fight fraud you may not be familiar with.

1. Know your customer checks

Banks, credit providers, and a wide variety of businesses rely on credit reference agencies to verify that a person applying for credit is who they say they are. They do this by checking your contact information against a variety of sources, including voters lists, borrowing history, and public records.

Millions of these crucial identity checks happen in the background every day to protect us all from identity theft.

2. Live fraud alerts

Some credit reference agencies have automated checks in place that alert you if they find any of your personal data on websites commonly used by scammers.

This includes social media platforms and even the dark web, where personal information is often sold to the highest bidder.

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Equifax’s WebDetect service allows you to add up to six email addresses, six phone numbers, 12 credit / debit cards, six bank accounts as well as your driver’s license and national insurance numbers, and is included when you sign up for your credit report.

3. Detailed financial history reports

Credit reference agencies allow you to check your credit report at any time, so that you can spot unusual activity that could influence your ability to borrow money in the future. Any incorrect information should be reported to the agency that provided the report and they will assist you in having it amended.

These reports are updated daily and will alert you to any changes so you can easily spot anything that’s wrong.

4. Added password protection

Some credit reference agencies offer a fraud prevention service that makes it much harder for criminals to try to guess your closely watched login details, and lock them down faster when they are wrong.

5. Education

In the fight against crooks, knowledge is power. Credit reference agencies like Equifax work with lenders and borrowers to create a fairer financial future for all, which means helping people stay on top of the latest vulnerabilities. In the Equifax Knowledge Center, there is a section dedicated to Identity Protection, with plenty of information accessible on how to protect yourself and your family against fraud.

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If you find yourself getting a scam call, email, or text, take five, ask why you’re being asked for this information, and don’t be afraid to say ‘no’.

Report any unusual activity to your bank and Police Scotland via 101.

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