Credit Report, Identity Fraud & Gambling Websites
I’m hoping someone can advise and/or point me in the right direction. For context, I’m hoping to buy a property in the next 12 months, and as a first time buyer I am keeping a close eye on my credit report.
I logged into CheckMyFile a couple of weeks ago and noticed some unusual searches that were carried out using my name and an address I haven’t lived at in almost 3 years by a number of gambling websites inc. Argyll Entertainment, Casumo, PaddyPower, BetFred etc. I’m not a gambler, nor had I setup any accounts with these websites, and so this came as quite a shock.
I contacted Action Fraud immediately as well as the police, who are both now investigating. The searches only show up with TransUnion, who have also been notified and have opened their own investigation. I was advised that it would be sensible to contact the gambling websites directly to report the suspicious activity, close down any accounts that were opened in my name, and ideally have the searches that were made removed from my credit report.
As I’m in the process of house-buying, I’m very concerned about how searches carried out by 6 gambling websites looks on my credit report to potential mortgage-lenders, and I’m receiving conflicting information from all parties about what can and cannot be seen when making credit applications.
The searches are all listed as ‘Enquiry’ on CheckMyFile and as ‘Anti-Money Laundering’ or ‘Identity’ under the Purpose section of my TransUnion credit report. The gambling websites told me that they do not offer credit to customers, and they define them as ‘soft-searches’ which are standard procedure when setting up an account with them.
As a relative newcomer to the process, I’m slightly mystified by the dark arts of credit reports, especially around what previous searches can be seen by lenders and how I might be affected in this case.
If the searches DO need to come off my report and a company is being difficult by claiming they aren’t able to remove the searches, is this something to escalate to the gambling commission?
Does anybody have any similar experiences or concrete advice they can share? Thank you in advance everyone!
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They're all soft searches so it's irrelevant to your house purchase as nobody else can see them.
And the Gambling Commission is not an Ombudsman so there is little point in complaining to them.
Soft searches cannot be seen by lenders and will have no impact on your credit reports.
Hard searches are a totally different matter and DO show up on your credit reports and affect lenders' decisions.
It seems strange that these particular soft searches only show on your Transunion report and not the others. But you've done everything you can and if Transunion can supply an explanation just to put your mind at rest, so much the better.