Feeds

Fraud victims urged to use DPA to rebuild credit ratings

You've got me all wrong

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

UK victims of identity fraud are being urged to use the Data Protection Act as a tool to restore their credit rating.

E-Victims.Org, a former internet support group for those affected by cybercrime, said that even after victims are able to establish fraud and absolve themselves of liability to fraudulent debt they are still left with a black mark against their name on credit rating reports.

Simply contacting credit reference agencies to ask for corrections to be made is often not enough to restore reputations, the group argues. The problem arises because credit reference agencies collect and republish data sent to them by lenders. Inaccuracies in that information will be passed on to credit reference reports.

Lenders need to alter their records to reflect that a consumer has not run out on a debt but been a victim of identity theft. E-victims.org reckons the Data Protection Act can be used to push lenders to reconsider their opinions, a process that otherwise take years to go through. In most cases loans can eventually be secured even with imperfect credit histories but interest rates will be higher than for those with unblemished records.

"We still advise victims to contact the three credit agencies to identify inaccurate information and to put in a notice of correction. But then we suggest that victims use the Data Protection Act to get the underlying records changed," explained Jennifer Perry, managing director of e-victims.org.

"Under data protection law consumers can demand to see the details of transactions made in their name, and have the right to correct anything inaccurate." If the lender fails to respond to a request to alter their files, or refuses to do so, then the credit reference agency is unable to amend a victim's record. Data Protection Act requests create an incentive for lenders to "investigate and make changes to erroneous data", Perry added.

A factsheet, Clearing up your credit report, is available from the e-victims.org website here.

The advice comes at the start of the UK's National Identity Fraud Prevention Week, which runs form 6 to 12 October. The week aims to raise awareness about the dangers of identity theft, alongside support to victims of fraud and fraud prevention advice. More info is on the campaign's website. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Webcam hacker pervs in MASS HOME INVASION
You thought you were all alone? Nope – change your password, says ICO
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Meet OneRNG: a fully-open entropy generator for a paranoid age
Kiwis to seek random investors for crowd-funded randomiser
USB coding anarchy: Consider all sticks licked
Thumb drive design ruled by almighty buck
Attack reveals 81 percent of Tor users but admins call for calm
Cisco Netflow a handy tool for cheapskate attackers
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.