Check Your Credit Report For Signs Of Fraud

Things to look out for on your credit report

Digital fraudsters take advantage of online consumers. We have a look at what kinds of online fraud you may fall victim to and how checking your credit report can go a long way in helping you protect yourself from suspicious activity.

COVID-19 and your credit report

Online scams in South Africa have risen dramatically since the national lockdown in March 2020, according to BusinessTech.

The publication reports that 37% of South Africans have been targeted by online fraudsters since then. They found that the most popular kinds of COVID-related scams involved fraudsters offering fake unemployment benefits.

How do fraudsters steal your information?

Fraudsters collect your personal data so that they can profit from your identity. Ever received an email, mobile text message or telephone call that seemed too good to be true? It could have been in the form of requests for personal information in order to help "verify" your identity.

If you've ever lost your identity card with all your details, or had it stolen by a fraudster, this information will then be used to fool people who are trying to "verify" your identity.

Armed with all your details, they are able to clone the copy of your ID card. A few ways of stealing your identity include:

  • Application fraud: This is when criminals gather all of your personal information. They use it to open up a whole new identity under your name and steal your good name to open up accounts including applying for credit cards. They even go as far as to gather copies of your personal documents such as passports and multiple IDs that could assist them with committing the perfect crime of credit card fraud
  • Account takeover: A fraudster can contact your lender and, using your personal information like your address, they can pretend to be you. They can report your card stolen and have a new one shipped to their address. You should immediately report any unauthorised use of your account to the company that issued the card.
  • Card-not-present fraud: Just because criminals are not present in the same room, it doesn't mean they won't try to trick you. They will approach you via emails, texts or phone calls claiming there is something wrong with your card. The worst part? They might end up charging the card without you even realizing it.

How do fraudsters steal your information?

  • Make sure you do not share any of your financial or personal details. You never know who will try to use this information against you.
  • Make sure your ID is with you or in a safe place at all times. Don't leave it laying around or in a place that someone else could get access to it.
  • Verify every communication you receive from anyone before actioning. It's proven that scamsters use real company names to email company employees and this happens often because people don't believe that it can happen to them.
  • It's important to try and set up a strong password when banking or shopping online. You could accidentally give out your bank details to hackers if you're not careful.
  • As a South African, you can review and check your credit history whenever you like..

We hope that this blog post has been helpful for you today. If you have any other questions or concerns about checking your credit report for signs of fraud, please contact Credit Health.

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