As identity fraud continues to rise consumers need to check their credit report to identify possible fraudulent activity, warns Noddle
Figures released* by Noddle the free for life credit report service, part of Callcredit Information Group, show that only 26 per cent of consumers check their credit report regularly for signs of fraudulent activity, which means many could be missing the tell tale signs of identity fraud.
Noddle is concerned with these figures and calls for more consumers to regularly check their credit report as identity fraud continues to rise with CIFAS reporting that 66 per cent of all frauds to date in 2013 relate to the misuse of personal data, compared to a total of 65 per cent for the whole of 2012**.
The research carried out by fast.MAP, showed that out of all age groups questioned only 14 per cent of 25-34s did so to check for fraudulent activity followed by 20 per cent of 18-24s and 27 per cent of 35-44s. These figures show that across all ages only a small number of consumers are using their credit report for more than just their credit score and taking the opportunity to identify fraudulent activity.
When consumers were asked what was the main reason for accessing their credit report many responded that they didn't need to as they don't need credit, or were too old to need any form of credit, some didn't even realise they had a credit report! Worryingly this highlights the lack of understanding surrounding credit reports and the wider benefits (such as identifying fraudulent activity) they provide in addition to providing an individuals' credit score.
With 60,000*** confirmed cases of identity fraud in 2013 Noddle is urging consumers to take control of their financial future.
Tom Ilube, founder of Noddle, said: "These figures are alarming and so is the fact that consumers don't understand how powerful a tool their credit report can be. It includes a lot of important information and is much more than just a credit score; it's part of your financial future and can be the first opportunity to spot the tell tale signs of fraudulent activity. As identity fraud continues to rise consumers should take greater care by, checking their report regularly can be one of the best defenses in helping to protect themselves from identity fraud."
To help consumers further prevent fraud and keep their personal information safe online, Noddle has created Web Watch. The additional service scours the internet 24/7 monitoring web pages, chat rooms, bulletin boards and file sharing sites for any indication that an individual's personal details are being traded or sold fraudulently, and alerts the consumer allowing them to take action quickly and prevent fraud.
Tom continued: "The more a consumer understands their report the easier it will be for them to make the most of it. Used to its full potential a credit report can provide a wealth of useful insight and data that not only helps an individual to protect their identities but also help them take greater control of their finances."
*Research conducted by fast.Map from a sample of 1,536 individuals randomly selected from their Consumer Voice panel. Members are recruited via a number of sources to demographically represent the markets based on age and gender