You might not realise that your identity was stolen until you apply for credit to find out your credit report is not looking good.
There’s nothing more terrifying than the thought of another person stealing your identity. But hiding your personal files under the bed and deleting your Facebook account does not guarantee you from the potential harm that identity thieves can cause. Today’s identity thieves are far more ambitious than in the past. Not only do they want to steal and use all the available credit on your cards, but they will use your personal information to obtain cell phone contracts, rent cars, open clothing accounts and even take out home loans.
Very few people will realise that their identity was stolen until they are denied credit. As a victim, you may only come to know of it once you get a call from a credit provider looking for their money. This will negatively affect your credit report and it could take a lot of effort to save your credit reputation.
Monitoring your credit data is the best way to prevent and recover from identity theft. To help you, we offer a comprehensive alerts system that will notify you via SMS when any important changes on your credit reports happen.
This way, you will be able to monitor activity on your profile that you may have not been aware of.
Regularly checking your credit report allows you to immediately identify if someone attempted to apply for credit in your name. You can also identify any enquiries conducted and see who accessed your credit report and when – this can be very useful in predicting and preventing possible fraud.
When you request your credit report, make sure you thoroughly examine every piece of information. Under your credit history, you will find a description of every creditor that you received credit from. The information will include the name of the creditor, the date when the account was opened, the repayment frequency, your outstanding balance, your credit limit and also any payments you skipped or missed.
There will also be a detailed list of all enquiries that were made against your name. This means you will be able to see who has looked at your credit report and when. These enquiries will usually take place when you apply for credit with a credit provider and they need to access your credit report to determine creditworthiness. It is very important that you check that no enquiries were made that you were not aware of, as this could be a sure indication that someone is trying to fraudulently apply for credit in your name.
Make sure to examine the section containing public records information. This contains information on judgments, defaults and notices and is an indication of whether legal action has been taken against you for non-payment of credit.
If your credit profile reflect accounts that you did not open you should contact the companies that have listed you and request that they provide you with the application form which you allegedly signed when you opened the account.
You can take these further steps to protect yourself: