Credit checks and evaluations are increasingly used in our society. A business will need a credit check on you, for example, if you are applying for a loan or credit arrangement.
Checking your credit record regularly is an important method of detecting identity theft. If you find out that there has been a credit check on you, and you did not know about this, then immediately make enquiries to find out who did the credit check and why.
- If you find out that someone has done an unexpected credit check on you, ask the credit reporting company to show you the record. Who asked for the check and why? What information did they gain? Contact the organisation that asked for the check as well as the credit reporting company. Make sure your information is protected.
- If you suspect that you might be the victim of identity theft, immediately contact the credit reporting company and notify them. Ask them to put an alert on the system, and to block others from checking your credit-worthiness. Contact the police if necessary.
- The credit reporting company will probably have a system that you can use to temporarily cancel the blocking if you do need to allow an agency to do a credit check on you.
- If you find out that someone has done a credit check and then has set up a new account that you don’t recognise, contact the company that has the account (verbally and in writing) and ask it to terminate the account immediately. Explain that it is not your account. This is important if a dispute arises.
- Check your credit record at least once a year, and ask the credit reporting company to correct any wrong information that is on your account.