Watch out for identity theft in South Africa!
Its a real issue currently in South Africa and if you are not careful you may be its next victim!
We are currently experiencing a spate of Identity Theft in South Africa. Very often you will already have your identity compromised and not be the wiser. You have always been careful with your finances, you pay your bills on time and you have moderate debt in relation to your income vs expenses. Yet, one day you attempt to apply for credit and you are rejected for a purchase you should automatically qualify for.
You may in fact be a victim of identity fraud. The best way to find out where this is the case, is to contact one of the big Credit Bureaus, such as Compuscan and request your free annual credit report to see if your report corresponds with your current financial patterns.
If you find out that you have accounts open with stores you never shop at or there is really some suspicious looking activity that you could not have consented too, then you may in fact be a victim of identity fraud. The scary thing is that in some instances the people who clone your identity, actually open accounts and pay on a regular basis, therefore you are simply never alerted to the fact that there is someone else running a separate life under your name.
If you are a victim of identity theft, don’t feel alone. This in fact occurs to couple thousand individuals in South Africa ever year.
You are not alone. Thousands of people are robbed of their identities by identity thieves every year.
Identity theft is usually associated with stolen identity books and online fraud, but it can happen anywhere. The first thing you need to do if you identify fraud on your profile is to open a case of identity theft at your local South African Police station. The next step is to inform all the credit provider that you have listed on your credit report and inform them of what has occurred and provide them with the case number that the Police will provide once the case of identity theft is opened.
This process is slow and it may take a couple months before your credit profile is restored, but starting the process is key to getting your life back under control. As scary as this sounds, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Firstly, every South African is entitled to a free credit report annually. You must take up this offer, also for the price of a nice coffee you can actually get your credit report any time of the year from a number of suppliers. I-Check Data Solutions has a fantastic credit health report that really empowers you as a individual. Our report is R 20 ex vat and we suggest that you purchase one every 3 or 4 months to see firstly how your credit rating is changing with your purchasing behaviour but also to keep track of what is happening with your profile and if suspicious behaviour is taking place. If you would like to know more about this amazing product of any of our other services, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our sales teams today!
How not to become the victim of the identity theft