It’s never going to be fun finding out about inaccurate information held in your credit report, especially when a potential credit provider finds out about it before you do! Embarrassing to say the least, not to mention disappointing when you are applying for that all-important credit account or loan.
Every South African consumer is legally entitled to a free copy of their personal credit report every 12 months. But is that enough? With the risk of identity theft and internet scams and virtual hacking of your portable devices – you are always at risk. By subscribing to a credit monitoring service, you will be alerted immediately if any-one has tried to steal your identity, apply for a loan in your name or tried to secure a credit account of any kind in your name. Of course, you are the only one who can determine if it’s something that you need, but it could be your only safety-net when you least expect it.Just imagine what would happen in the following scenario, taken from a real case history.
On the surface, it may seem to end well, but in truth it has opened a whole can of worms, which lead to a number of really serious problems down the line.It all starts with a mishap. Maybe you accidentally lose your wallet or purse. Or perhaps you have been pickpocketed or your handbag or briefcase has been stolen. A few hours later a good Samaritan has recovered your property, has managed to trace you and makes arrangements to return your belongings. When you recover your item, you are delighted to see that everything is intact – store cards, credit cards and driver’s license. Although the cash is gone, it’s a small price to pay for recovering the rest.
Having rewarded the good Samaritan, you tell all your friends and spread the news on social media just how lucky you were. End of Story! But it is very far from over! Because in reality during the time that your belongings disappeared and are returned, someone has had the opportunity to take down all your details and discard the item where the good Samaritan has found it.Using the information found, your name on all your cards, your ID number on your driver’s license and any little notes that you keep in your wallet just in case of emergency, anyone finding the item can trace you. The thief (or thieves) will then start pretending to be you! For starters, they call all your credit customer service representatives and state that you have moved to a new address and have a new cell phone number. And that you have also got a new email address with work.
The customer service agent will go through the normal verifications such as old address and phone number and hey presto! The account is now theirs! And to your credit company, you’ve simply moved house.Very stealthily the thieves begin using the credit card mostly online or over the phone as you have the card in your possession. They fly under the radar and don’t max out the card either, at least for a short time. By the time your bill is due the following month, it will be sent to the thief’s address, and the online statement to the thief’s email address. Life is hectic enough and if you are busy managing other cards, bills and finances you may assume that the bill will come later. Needless to say, the credit card company hasn’t notified you about any suspicious activity either. Your bill is never received by you and you may have forgotten about the statement not arriving in the month as well. The credit card or store card company updates the 3 main credit bureaus of the late payment within 30 days. And this begins to affect your credit score and your credit rating will begin to suffer and decrease. Without credit monitoring or checking your score regularly this could go on for a few months. And the thieves will continue spending and creating even more trouble for you. Eventually you will discover the fraud, but depending on how long it has been going on the more hassle it is to repair the damage.
But if you had a reputable company monitoring your credit report for you. Would you have stopped it sooner? Yes, very possibly.
Crediclean.co.za provides you with the advantage of keeping in touch with all the updated information held in your credit report and checking your credit score more than once per year, with credit monitoring you can determine the frequency of the review, once per month for individuals or for large companies once per week.In this scenario, we have described a very real and dangerous fraud called “Account Takeover”
It is a very real crime and is becoming more and more popular because the victim may not become aware of the fraud for some time. Because of the popularity of internet shopping you no longer need the actual card to make a purchase on line. If you have the name on the card, the long number, expiry date, the billing address (now the thief’s address) plus the 3 digits on the back of the card, the thieves will be surfing and purchasing at the expense of your credit score and report.Crediclean.co.za will provide an extra level of security as the service will check your credit report and score every 30 days.
Your credit card company may have noted the change of address to the card and the late payment. Crediclean.co.za will be alerted to these changes straight away and notify you of this suspicious activity whereby saving you a lot of time and trouble