Page last updated at 23:17 GMT, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 00:17 UK

Help for identity fraud victims

Credit card
Victims' details can be used to apply for credit cards

Identity fraud victims should only need to make one telephone call rather than three to put their credit record straight as a result of a new scheme.

The UK's leading credit reference agencies - CallCredit, Equifax and Experian - have agreed to notify each other when restoring a victim's record.

The National Consumer Council (NCC) has welcomed the move.

It says that an estimated 100,000 people a year are hit by one of the UK's fastest growing crimes.

"It [the new scheme] simplifies the whole process of sorting out the mess left behind by fraudsters and helps victims get their finances back on track," said the NCC's Anna Fielder.

The agencies will work together to contact financial service providers to report fraud and provide victims with their credit report.

File checks

People can get a basic copy of their credit file, which shows credit applications made in their name, for £2 from these agencies.

Many consumer groups advise that people should keep a regular check to ensure their identity is not being misused by fraudsters.

Research suggests that victims' details are most likely to be used to apply for store cards, credit cards and mobile phone accounts.

When fraudsters abuse these cards, the victim can have difficulty getting credit - including mortgages - in the future.

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