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Identity fraud

Identity Fraud continues to be one of the UK's fastest growing crimes – a serious threat to individuals and businesses across the UK. 

Although most people know about identity theft, consumers and businesses are not aware of, or not taking the steps they could and should be taking to fully protect themselves.

Identity fraud occurs when personal information is fraudulently taken and used to obtain credit, goods or other services. It can even extend to securing a fraudulent passport or driving licence. Identity theft takes away your control over your affairs and can be damaging to your financial reputation. As such, it is important to understand how fraudsters can get their hands on your information so you can take steps to protect yourself and your family.

There's safety in numbers

Try not to use a security code or PIN that could easily be guessed by a fraudster, for example your date of birth.

Do not disclose your security code, secure personal information or PIN number in response to unsolicited emails or telephone calls claiming to be from your bank or the police

We will only ever ask you for two digits of your security code over the telephone or when logging into the Internet Banking Service.

Never write down your password, Internet login details or PIN number. Remember: only a criminal will ask for your PIN.

Change your security information immediately if you suspect that anyone else may have gained access to them

Keep track of when statements are due.

Shred or discard securely any personal information, including bank statements, credit card receipts and utility bills.

Look at your bank and credit card statements regularly and report any transactions you do not recognise immediately to your bank.

When you are on holiday ensure your post will be kept safe.

If you move, make sure your post is redirected to your new address as soon as possible.

If you receive mail to your address that is addressed to you but does not belong to you, please inform the sender immediately.

Always keep your card in your possession and never let it out of your sight.

Restrict what information you carry around with you in your handbag or wallet.

When using a cash machine or using your card in a shop, beware of anyone trying to watch you enter your PIN.

Only deal with reputable companies when using your card for purchases over the phone or through the internet.

Check your sales voucher to make sure the total is correct and complete before you sign/enter your PIN. Keep your copy safe.

Contact us immediately if you are expecting a new card or PIN and it doesn't arrive in the expected timescales or if your card has been lost or stolen.

What is a credit reference agency?

A credit reference agency collects public and credit data to produce credit reports and credit scores for individuals. Many lenders will use this information, from one or more agencies, to make decisions about whether to lend to an individual or not.

There are 3 main credit reference agencies in the UK:

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • Callcredit

Why should I look at my credit report?

You may want to look at your credit report for the following reasons:

  • If you are applying for a mortgage?
  • If you need to improve your credit rating?
  • If you have you been refused credit?
  • If you want to buy a new car?
  • If you are worried about ID fraud?

How do I access my credit report?

Did you know you have the right to access your personal credit information? Under the Data Protection Act, by law you have the right to request a Statutory Credit Report for £2. This is posted to you within 7 working days of receipt of your request and payment.

Your Statutory Rights Include the right to:

  • A copy of your Statutory Credit Report (posted within 7 working days of receipt of your request and payment).
  • Dispute inaccurate information on your credit file.
  • Have errors corrected within 28 days.


The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (No.121885). The Co-operative Bank, Platform, smile and Britannia are trading names of The Co-operative Bank p.l.c., P.O. Box 101, 1 Balloon Street, Manchester M60 4EP. Registered in England and Wales No.990937. Credit facilities are provided by The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. and are subject to status and our lending policy. The Bank reserves the right to decline any application for an account or credit facility. The Co-operative Bank p.l.c. subscribes to the Standards of Lending Practice which are monitored by the Lending Standards Board.