How will I know if I’ve been impersonated?
Identity fraud happens when a fraudster pretends to be you using your personal details to buy a product or take out a loan in your name. You probably won’t realise anything has happened until a bill arrives for something you didn’t buy, or you experience problems with your credit rating.
What to do if you’ve been impersonated
ACT FAST if you think you have been a victim of identity fraud:
- Contact the organisation concerned
Get in touch with the organisation, whether it be a bank, credit card company or something else, at which you’ve been a victim of impersonation and let them know what’s happened.
- Report it to Action Fraud
Individuals or businesses who have fallen victim to identity fraud should report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or on their website.
If you have been a victim of fraud, you can contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice and support. Victim Support is the independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales. Find out more at their website.
If you believe you are at risk of identity fraud or you have been a victim, you may wish to use Cifas’ Protective Registration service as an additional way to try to prevent fraud taking place in your name.
If you have information about those committing identity crime please tell independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at their website.
Be suspicious of any unsolicited emails, even if it appears to be from a company you know of. Don’t open the attachments or click on links within unsolicited emails, and never disclose any personal or financial details.
If you receive any mail that seems suspicious or implies you have an account with the sender when you don’t, do not ignore it. It only takes a few minutes to contact a credit reference agency over the phone to report your concerns.
If you suspect that your mail is being stolen, or a mail redirection application has been made in your name without your knowledge, contact Royal Mail Customer Care on 08457 740 740 or via their website.
Victim of impersonation marker
If you see 'Victim of Impersonation' recorded on your credit report and you’re not aware you’ve been the victim of an identity theft (or an attempted one), do not be alarmed.
It is likely the record was made by an organisation quickly to protect you, and that there is a letter on its way with an explanation (provided they know your current address and that they’re sure the fraudster will not be alerted).
If you haven’t received a letter after a week or so, you should contact the organisation that created the record to find out more. Details can be found on your credit report, which you can access through the alert service you enrolled with.
If you have signed up for Cifas’ Protective Registration and then see 'Victim of Impersonation' recorded on your credit report, again this is no cause for alarm. This warning will have been placed by one of the organisations that uses Cifas to protect your identity. The warning is there to make it clear you are the genuine, innocent party, and that you have been (or suspect you may be) the victim of an identity theft.
Any organisation that subsequently receives that warning will see the phrase ‘Cifas – Do Not Reject – Validation Required’. It reminds them that extra precautions must be taken to ensure that the application or facility is genuine, protecting you from further fraud.
A ‘Victim of Impersonation’ warning remains in place for 13 months from the date of submission. If you feel you would like to continue to benefit from protection after this date, our Protective Registration scheme might be of interest to you.
What to do if a deceased relative is impersonated
If you believe the identity of a deceased person may be used by a fraudster, our Protective Registration service may be requested by a relative or executor for the deceased person’s address.
We record the deceased person’s details and place a flag with them so any organisation that uses Cifas data knows to pay special attention when the details are used to apply for their products or services.
Please note: a copy of the death certificate will also be required when the registration is set up.
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