Credit Report, Identity Fraud & Gambling Websites

Hi all,

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!


  • smashinglynaivesmashinglynaive Forumite
    111 Posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Just to be clear, nobody is investigating this.

    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.
  • edited 2 January 2022 at 3:16PM
    MalMonroeMalMonroe Forumite
    5.5K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 2 January 2022 at 3:16PM

    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.
    Please note - taken from the Forum Rules and amended for my own personal use (with thanks) : It is up to you to investigate, check, double-check and check yet again before you make any decisions or take any action based on any information you glean from any of my posts. Although I do carry out careful research before posting and never intend to mislead or supply out-of-date or incorrect information, please do not rely 100% on what you are reading. Verify everything in order to protect yourself as you are responsible for any action you consequently take.
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