What to do if your identity is stolen

It can be a shock to discover that your personal information has been stolen. Perhaps you spotted some unfamiliar transactions on a financial statement, you were unexpectedly refused credit or (if you’re an Equifax customer) you received an alert from us about a credit search for an application you don’t recognise.

If you spot any suspicious activity on your credit report – for example, for a new credit agreement that you didn’t make – let us know so we can investigate on your behalf. It’s important to act quickly if you spot any unusual information on your credit report, in order to limit any possible damage that potential identity theft may have on your credit score.

  1. Contact lenders. Contact the company where you have seen the unexpected transactions appear and notify them of your concerns. Most will quickly issue replacement cards with new account numbers if needed. You should also inform the police if fraudulent activity is identified.

  2. Report your suspicions. Inform Action Fraud, the national fraud and cyber crime reporting centre, and contact us if you think there are fraudulent items on your credit report. We will prioritise investigating the information in question. We also share Victim of Fraud information regularly with the two other UK credit reference agencies, Experian and CallCredit, so you only need to inform one of us for all three agencies to be notified.

  3. Check your financial statements. It’s possible that the fraudsters could strike again. Keep checking all your statements thoroughly for any unusual transactions.

  4. Register for CIFAS. If you have identified fraudulent activity you can file a Protective Registration notice on your credit file with Cifas, the UK’s fraud prevention service. This will flag to potential lenders that you’ve been a victim of identity fraud, enabling them to take greater security measures with any further credit applications. For more information visit https://www.cifas.org.uk/.

  5. Keep a record. Recovering from stolen identity can be a lengthy process, so you should also keep a record of all of your communications about this incorrect information until the matter is settled. If you’re an Equifax customer, you can also download all your Equifax reports to your own computer by logging in to the Equifax Member Centre. If you’re not a customer, you may want to sign up for Equifax Protect. It gives you unlimited online access to your Equifax Credit Report & Score, and alerts you if your personal or financial information is found on websites commonly used by fraudsters.

Equifax Protect helps alert you to potential identity theft

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