Credit ratings damaged by identity fraudsters

11 May 2006
With identity fraud showing a 17 per cent year-on-year increase in the first quarter of 2006, according to CIFAS statistics, HBOS has urged people to be more wary when giving out personal details or discarding sensitive documents.

Although losses can be recouped through insurance against identity fraud, the effect on a person's credit record can be irreparable, at least in the near future.

HBOS General Insurance Identitycare chief executive, Colin Whitehair, said that the whole business can be very damaging to your financial reputation and sorting out the mess can be a harrowing process.

"Your credit rating is affected by the actions of somebody else," he said. "Fraudsters use victims' personal details with a different address, so when the credit company cannot find the person, they will trace it back to the old address, which is the victim's."

Unseen financial losses, such as unfavourable future rates on loans and mortgages due to a blemished credit history, are common as a result of serious cases of identity theft. As a result observers urge vigilance among consumers to crack down on the invasive crime.

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