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Help! Someone’s stolen my identity and used it to apply for credit. What do I do?

If you’re a victim of fraud or if you’re concerned that you’ll likely be, there is one very important step you can take to minimise the impact.

 

Place a ban on your credit report

One of the primary aims of identity fraud is to apply for credit in somebody else’s name.

To prevent this, you can request a ‘ban’ to be placed on your credit report. This means that for the duration of a ban, a Credit Reporting Body (CRB) will not use or disclose any information from your credit report in the event of an application.

The CRB would respond to the provider that there is a ban in place which would prevent the application from proceeding and alert them to a potential fraudulent attempt and risk.

You could have a credit report with more than one CRB, so when placing a ban or extending one, the CRB you initially submit this request to will ask for your consent to notify and share your ban request (including any supporting information) to other CRBs in Australia. This is to ensure access is restricted to each of your credit files during a ban period to help reduce the likelihood of further fraudulent use of credit.

With our partner CRB, Experian, a ban initially lasts for 21 days from the date the ban is placed and there’s no limit to the number of times a ban can be extended or the length of time a ban can be extended to. It’s also free to request a ban and any subsequent extensions.

As part of the ban process, you can also request to receive a full copy of your credit report which also shows the dates the ban is in place for.

 

Other things to consider

It’s important to remember that during a ban, if you were to apply for credit yourself, the provider would be unable to access your report and may well not be able to process your application.

The Credit Savvy service also cannot access your Experian credit file when there is a ban in place, therefore, you will have to contact Experian directly to get a status update.

If you wish to lift the ban on your credit reports, you’ll need to contact each CRB directly. You can find the links and contact details for each CRB here.

MoneySmart also a number of recommendations if you’re a victim of identity theft or fraud.

The team at Credit Savvy has also compiled some tips to avoid identity theft in the first place.

As always, keeping an eye on your credit score and credit report summary with Credit Savvy is a great way to protect and monitor your identity.

 

Sign up for your free credit score today

 

As part of Privacy Awareness Week, the Credit Savvy team have written a range of articles to help you keep your information secure. Read up on the latest articles in our Learning Hub!