FlexPlus Identity Theft Assistance

FlexPlus Identity Theft Assistance

This website is here to provide you with some useful information about identity fraud, including top tips on how to reduce your risk of becoming a victim, a Risk Calculator and how to spot if your personal data has fallen into the wrong hands.

What is identity theft?

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is where somebody steals your personal details and uses them to open bank accounts and get credit cards, loans and documents such as passports and driving licences in your name.

Identity theft can affect your credit rating, which could cause you difficulty in taking out a loan, credit card or mortgage. Or it could result in debts being built up in your name.

Identity thieves use a number of inventive ways to get hold of your personal information, for example, sending phishing emails pretending to be your bank to obtain personal and security information.

How to prevent it from happening to you

How to spot identity theft?

You may be a victim of identity theft if…

…you’ve been declined a credit card or loan, even though you believe you have a good credit history.

…you identify entries on your credit report from organisations or companies that you haven’t obtained credit with.

…you’re contacted for payment of an outstanding debt that you are unaware of.

…private and confidential mail that you normally expect to receive, such as bank statements, stops arriving.

…one of your important personal documents, such as your driving licence or passport, is lost or stolen.

It’s important to act quickly if you think you may have been a victim of identity theft – contact us immediately, on 0800 11 88 55, and we’ll help you by assigning a dedicated case worker to support you.

10 top tips to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim

  • 1. Check that your personal information (for example, data held in your online accounts) is kept in a secure location
  • 2. Ensure you change your passwords regularly to websites you often visit such as Facebook or eBay and make them high strength by using at least six characters, including numbers, letters, uppercase, lowercase and special characters (such as # or * or %)
  • 3. Keep your firewall/internet security/anti-virus software up-to-date to help protect your computer from malicious threats
  • 4. Never write your PIN numbers down or store them where they can easily be found
  • 5. When throwing out personal documents, shred anything that shows your name, address or personal details such as; bank statements, utility bills and even cheque book stubs
  • 6. Check your bank and credit card statements carefully and question any transactions or amounts that you don’t recognise
  • 7. Monitor your credit report on a regular basis
  • 8. Close any old bank accounts that you no longer use
  • 9. Store your important personal documents safely, however try to avoid keeping them all in one place
  • 10. When you’re out and about only carry the credit/debit cards that you need and shred them once they’ve expired. If any of your cards are lost or stolen, you can use your FlexPlus Worldwide Emergency Card Assistance to cancel them

Sharing your personal information

Always question anyone who wants your personal data, no matter how official or genuine they appear to be. Check that the emails or letters you receive are genuine before doing anything with them. Do not reply to anything that seems suspicious.

If you’re suspicious about someone claiming to be from a company you already have a relationship with, offer to call them back on the number you originally have for that company.

Using your credit/debit cards online

Be careful when providing your credit/debit card details on the Internet.

Check that the website has a genuine postal address and that the site is secure – check the address bar at the top of the page it should start 'https' along with a padlock symbol at the top or bottom of the screen.

If you haven’t done so already, then register your cards for MasterCard SecureCode or Verified by Visa. These are secure payment systems which aim to make online transactions safer.

Moving house

You need to make sure that mail is no longer sent to your old address . When you move:

  • Inform all relevant organisations about your change of address
  • Contact the Post Office and arrange to re-direct your post to your new address
  • Register on the electoral roll at your new address as soon as you move. This is done by contacting your local council

Using your computer, mobile or tablet

  • Keep your firewall/internet security/anti-virus software up-to-date
  • Use the most current version of your Internet browser and check that your browser's security settings are set at the optimum level
  • Avoid accessing personal websites, such as your Internet banking or social network accounts, using a computer that is available to others e.g. in libraries and Internet cafes
  • If you receive an email which contains a link and appears suspicious, don’t click it and type in the usual web address instead.
  • Check that any personal information you enter on the web is protected by a secure Internet server – indicated by 'https' instead of 'http' at the beginning of the web address in your browser, along with a padlock symbol at the top or bottom of the screen.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

Stick to advertised hotspots and don’t be tempted to use any open networks that you come across.

To be on the safe side, security experts recommend that you don’t send or access personal and confidential information over an open Wi-Fi connection. When you’ve finished, don’t forget to switch the Wi-Fi function off as fraudsters can still access data even if you think you’re not online.

Going abroad

If you’re planning to be out of the country for a while, make sure any post being sent to your UK address is dealt with securely. The Royal Mail has a service to help with this, called 'Keepsafe'. More information is available at www.royalmail.com

Keep your credit/debit cards, travellers’ cheques and personal documents as secure as you can whilst abroad, and try to only take the cards you need. While travelling, keep your personal documents with you at all times, as bags and suitcases can be out of your sight for long periods of time.

Don’t forget to let your card providers know that you are going abroad. Foreign transactions are usually a sign of fraud so could result in your cards being temporarily stopped, which may cause you some inconvenience.

What to do if your identity is stolen

Lost or stolen personal documents – who to contact

Passport

If your passport is lost or stolen, you must report it as soon as you can so that it can be cancelled.

  • Abroad - contact the local Police station and the nearest British Embassy, Consulate or High Commission. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth-office) contains a directory of all British Embassies and Consulates, or you can call +44 207 008 1500. On your return to the UK, report it to the Passport Office
  • In the UK - all cases of theft must also be reported to your local Police station. To help prevent anyone else from using your passport or identity, you will need to complete a lost or stolen declaration form (LSO1). You can get this form from:
    • the Passport Advice line on 0300 222 0000
    • your local passport office
    • your local Police station
    • certain Post Office branches or Worldchoice travel agents that offer the Check & Send service

Driving licence

If your driving licence is lost or stolen, you must report it to the DVLA immediately by calling 0300 790 6801.

Birth certificate

If your Birth Certificate is lost or stolen, you must contact the General Register Office on 0300 123 1837 (England and Wales), 0131 334 0380 (Scotland) or 0300 200 7890 (Northern Ireland or 028 9151 3101 if calling from outside Northern Ireland).

Other useful contacts

We do not make any representations regarding the links on this website and are not responsible for the content or accuracy of the materials on these sites. In addition, the links to these sites should not be construed as a recommendation, endorsement, adoption or approval by Lifestyle Services Group of any products or services offered by the operators of these sites, or views and opinions expressed therein.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Advice for when you travel abroad, including a directory of all British Embassies, Consulates and High Commission offices.

www.aboutidentitytheft.co.uk

Royal Mail to divert your mail or download the Keepsafe™ application form.

www.royalmail.com

CIFAS The UK’s Fraud Prevention Service.

www.cifas.org.uk

Home Office This is the Home Office website, which provides advice on the prevention of crime.

www.identity-theft.org.uk

Identity theft assistance common enquiries

Who are Lifestyle Services Group Limited?

Lifestyle Services Group Limited (LSG) are the people Nationwide work with to provide your Identity Theft Assistance benefit.

What is CIFAS?

CIFAS is the UK’s not-for-profit fraud prevention service; working to prevent fraud in many areas such as banking, telecommunications and insurance.

What is the difference between identity theft and identity fraud?

Identity theft is taking the identity of another person without their knowledge or consent. Identity fraud is using a stolen identity in criminal activity to obtain goods and services by deception.

What is my credit report?

Your credit report provides information about your financial credit history; it shows the details of the financial accounts held in your name at the relevant credit reference agency along with your payment history and a record of any searches carried out by companies looking to provide you with credit.

Useful letters and forms

If you suspect you’re a victim of identity theft crime, when you contact us a dedicated case specialist will be assigned to work with you. They will advise who you will need to contact to help restore your credit status. To help you we have put together the following letter templates which you can use to notify the relevant organisations.

If you require any further support and guidance with the letters, please call your case specialist on 0800 11 88 55.

You will need the latest version of Adobe Reader to open the following files.

Letter to lender (Fraudulent claim process)

If you discover your identity has been used fraudulently to gain a credit agreement in your name for the provision of goods and services, you will need to send a copy of this letter to all the companies with whom credit agreements have been made.

Letter to lender (Formal denial of participation in a lending contract)

If you discover that your identity has been used fraudulently to arrange a lending agreement (for example, a loan or mortgage) you will need to send a copy of this letter to all the companies with whom credit agreements have been made.

Letter to Experian Limited (Notice of disassociation)
Letter to Equifax Limited (Notice of disassociation)
Letter to Call Credit plc (Notice of disassociation)

If an entry has been made on your credit report as a result of someone fraudulently obtaining credit in your name, you can use these letters to tell the UK’s leading credit reference agencies that you wish to disassociate yourself from this entry on your credit report.

Letter to Experian Limited (Notice of correction request)
Letter to Equifax Limited (Notice of correction request)
Letter to Call Credit plc (Notice of correction request)

If you discover that your identity has been used fraudulently to gain a credit agreement in your name for the provision of goods and services, or to enter a lending agreement, you will need to send a copy of these letters to Experian, Equifax and Call Credit plc to notify them that you have been a victim of identity theft therefore all applications for credit should be treated as suspicious.

Emergency advice and assistance

For expert advice and assistance call:

FlexPlus helpline 0800 11 88 55 

We’re available:
Monday – Friday, 8.00am – 8.00pm and
Saturday – Sunday, 9.00am – 6.00pm

 

Calls to 080 numbers are free from landlines and mobile phones. Calls may be recorded or monitored for training/customer services purposes and/or the prevention or detection of crime.

 

Identity theft Risk Calculator

You can use this to assess your level of fraud risk. Simply answer the online questions and we’ll update you on what you need to do to protect yourself and your information.

Calculate risk Calculator