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Application fraud

What it is

When an account is opened using fake or stolen documents in your name, using the account to withdraw cash, get credit, or find other ways to defraud you.

Protect yourself

  • Preventing identity theft can prevent application fraud. Know the kind of information that you need to protect.
  • Keep your details private and store sensitive documents in a secure place. If you don’t need a letter or document any more, shred it; don’t just tear it up and put it in the bin.
  • Always keep a close eye on your finances and credit score.

Spot the signs

  • You get letters or emails confirming new cards or loans you didn’t apply for.
  • You’re paying for a subscription or Direct Debit you don’t recognise, such as a contract for a mobile phone you don't own.

How it happens

If you’ve been a victim of identity theft you can become a victim of application fraud; your details are stolen and used to open up a new account in your name.

Fake accounts are usually opened with banks or with credit card companies as a quick way of accessing funds using the victim’s details. But fraudsters can also use details to open accounts elsewhere, such as a mobile phone contract which is then billed in the victim’s name.

Application fraud is different from your account being taken over. In this case, criminals use details to start completely new accounts, whereas a takeover uses accounts that the victim had set up themselves. The difference is that victims may be completely unaware of application fraud, as the account was opened without their knowledge.

How to report it

If Fraud has been committed report it to Action Fraud. For more advice and to raise any concerns, contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

Source - Action Fraud

Date Published: Jul 20, 2018

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.

Advance fee fraud

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Corporate fraud

Corporate fraud can be any fraud committed against a business.

Individual fraud

Individual fraud could be any fraud that targets a person directly. Individual frauds can differ from frauds affecting businesses and other organisations.

Online fraud

Some fraudsters rely on the internet to commit their crimes. Learn about some different types of internet frauds that and how to protect yourself and get safe online.

Identity fraud and identity theft

Identity theft is when your personal details are stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud.
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