New service saves time and stress for victims of identity fraud

Victims of identity fraud will find the task of setting their credit record straight much easier with a new Victims of Fraud service, unveiled by the three leading UK credit reference agencies, Callcredit, Equifax and Experian.

The new system significantly reduces the number of telephone calls that need to be made, and time taken to resolve issues caused by identity theft. Anyone suspecting they are a victim of identity fraud now only needs to contact just one of the three credit reference agencies. That agency will then automatically notify the other two. All three agencies will then work simultaneously to case-manage the restoration of the individual's credit file which will involve each providing the victim with their credit report, contacting financial service providers where there has been fraudulent activity and providing an on-going update of progress on the case.

The new service was set up after calls from the National Consumer Council (NCC) for a number of recommendations to make life less traumatic for identity theft victims.

Identity theft is one of the UK's fastest growing crimes, affecting more than 100,000 people every year. The Home Office estimates identity fraudsters steal £1.7 billion annually. According to a YouGov poll in November 2007, one million UK employees admitted losing disks, drives or laptop computers containing confidential personal information. Often consumers are vulnerable to identity theft through no fault or negligence of their own.

'The joined-up approach taken by the three agencies is a welcome step forward and we fully support this initiative. It simplifies the whole process of sorting out the mess left behind by fraudsters and helps victims get their finances back on track,'

said Anna Fielder, policy expert at the NCC.

Mark Ward, head of consumer services at Callcredit comments:

"Becoming a victim of identity theft can be extremely distressing. By jointly taking on responsibility for managing the recovery process, the three credit reference agencies are aiming to make getting financially back on track much easier for the individual involved."

Neil Munroe, External Affairs Director at Equifax said:

"There has been much effort put into encouraging consumers to take the greatest responsibility for their personal identity. It's only right, therefore, that they are given the best possible support should they become victim to this invisible and invidious crime. The collaboration between the three credit reference agencies should go a long way to reducing the stress experienced when ID fraud is identified."

Helen Lord, Director of Fraud and Regulatory Compliance at Experian commented:

"Through Experian's well-established Victims of Fraud service we get to witness the distress and inconvenience that victims suffer. By collaborating with the other credit reference agencies on this issue, together we can play our part to help reduce the stress of becoming a victim of identity fraud."

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For further information please contact:

John Cottrill in the NCC Press Office
(t) 020 7881 3019 (e) j.cottrill@ncc.org.uk

Callcredit Press Office - Sophie Smith or Katie Moore (t) 0207 067 0600
(e) KMoore@golinharris.com/SSmith@golinharris.com

Equifax Press Office - Elinor Puzey, Louise Fowler or Wendy Harrison at HSL (t) 020 8977 9132 (e) elinor@harrisonsadler.com

Experian Press Office - James Russell (t) 0115 992 2652
(e) james.russell@uk.experian.com

Notes to editors:

Callcredit, Equifax and Experian are the three main consumer credit reference agencies in the UK. Credit reference agencies enable banks and other lenders to share credit repayment data with each other to promote informed and responsible lending decisions and to help fight fraud. The agencies also encourage consumers to check their own credit reports on a regular basis to help people better manage their personal credit commitments and to spot and report any fraudulent activity as soon as possible.

About the National Consumer Council (NCC)
The NCC makes a practical difference to the lives of consumers around the UK, using its insight into consumer needs to advocate change. We work with public service providers, businesses and regulators, and our relationship with BERR, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform - our main funder - gives us a strong connection within government. We conduct rigorous research and policy analysis to investigate key consumer issues, and use this to influence organisations and people that make change happen. Check www.ncc.org.uk for our latest news.

About Callcredit

Callcredit (www.callcredit.co.uk) is the UK's most innovative, state-of-the art credit reference agency, with an extensive range of information and value added services for businesses and individuals. Callcredit Check provides consumers with online access to the details of their credit file at www.callcreditcheck.com

About Equifax

Equifax empowers businesses and consumers with information they can trust. A global leader in information solutions, we leverage one of the largest sources of consumer and commercial data, along with advanced analytics and proprietary technology, to create customized insights that enrich both the performance of businesses and the lives of consumers. Customers have trusted Equifax for over 100 years to deliver innovative solutions with the highest integrity and reliability. Businesses - large and small - rely on us for consumer and business credit intelligence, portfolio management, fraud detection, decisioning technology, marketing tools, and much more. We empower individual consumers to manage their personal credit information, protect their identity, and maximize their financial well-being. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Equifax Inc. employs approximately 6,900 people in 14 countries through North America, Latin America and Europe. Equifax is a member of Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500® Index. Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EFX.

About Experian

Experian® is a global leader in providing information, analytical and marketing services to organisations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.

Combining its unique information tools and deep understanding of individuals, markets and economies, Experian partners with organisations around the world to establish and strengthen customer relationships and provide their businesses with competitive advantage. For consumers, Experian delivers critical information that enables them to make financial and purchasing decisions with greater control and confidence. Clients include organisations from financial services, retail and catalogue, telecommunications, utilities, media, insurance, automotive, leisure, e-commerce, manufacturing, property and government sectors.

Experian Group Limited is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. It has corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and operational headquarters in Costa Mesa, California and Nottingham, UK. Experian employs approximately 15,500 people in 38 countries worldwide, supporting clients in over 65 countries around the world. Continuing sales for the year ended 31 March 2008 were $4,059m (£2,020m / €2,858m)

For more information, visit the Group's website on www.experiangroup.com.
The word 'Experian' is a registered trademark in the EU and other countries and is owned by Experian Ltd. and/or its associated companies.