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Experian : How do I get in touch with anyone - let alone intelligent life at Experian ?

in Credit file & ratings
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John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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Perhaps half a dozen years ago, "Experian" told HMRC that I did not exist. So, I spent my £2 and got my statutory report. There was a fair bit missing but the Experian computer had recognised me and what they knew about me was true.  
[Now let me explain that I first paid tax at the age of 15 and I have done so every year since. I am now a pensioner. 
I have lived at my present address for about 30 years, but I cannot be exact because the PO changed my address and post code for their convenience about 30 years ago. Physically and legally, I have lived in the same bricks and mortar for 48 years.] 

So having been banned from the on-line system for Self-Assessment by HMRC, I spent £2 to check Experian.
I eventually managed to phone a human. The best I can say is that he spoke to me as though I had the intelligence of a 4-year-old and why did I not understand that the credit check system is a different system from the one used by the government?
He refused to accept my contention that Experian was running GIGO computing (Garbage in = Garbage out) and it was his responsibility, not mine, to sort out their rubbish systems.

So, I did some more research and organised a meeting with my MP. He was very sympathetic but worse than useless. I painstakingly explained to him that there were perhaps 10 million people (actually it is more like 8 million now) who could become non-citizens thanks to Experian.  In spite of being on some sort of digital committee, he failed to realise that I was warning him about the approaching "Windrush" scandal. [I notice that Experian no longer has the contract to identify tax payers with no passport!]

My (then) only solution was to apply for my birth certificate, so I could buy a passport that I did not need that cost £75 and many hours of my life [If there is someone out there who can match my picture and is having to cancel their holiday - get in touch, we can go halves (yes that is a joke)] 

Now I have got the problem again. Someone has registered a (stolen?) car at my address and I have reason to believe he is trying to get credit in my name.
I have tried to telephone Experian (well at least it is an 0800 number).I spent a long-time pressing buttons but, went round in a circle and could not get to speak to a human.  
I have tried to get a report on my Experian file via MSE credit-club but Experian has refused to link to MSE.

Should I contact the police - they are a waste of space when it comes to fraud, but they may have some sort of hotline to Experian?

What should I do now??

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  • FarfetchFarfetch Forumite
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    Complain to Experian
    Complain to HMRC

    There are not 10m people who are affected, this is not a Windrush scandal, it is you that is affected

    That said, something here does not add up, HMRC are not told by Experian who should and shouldn't be able to use self assessment, they are completely different. 

    He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

    -Harold Wilson


  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    You have mis-understood my posting and got the horse and cart the wrong way round.
     
    I have sorted out the HMRC-using-Experian problem by buying myself a passport. That by-passed Experian. [and even Teresa May eventually came to realise that Experian were not up to the task of identifying citizens of the UK] and Experian lost the contract. .

    My current problem is that some criminal is trying to steal my identity and I cannot contact Experian, presumably because their system has decided I am a fraudster and possibly an illegal migrant..

    I agree with you, there are not 10 million undocumented citizens of the UK, the accepted figure is now only 8 million. This is a problem encounterd by the Grenfell inquiry.

    I don't think anyone, least of all the government, has any idea how many undocumented illegal migrants there are in the country, but assuming my identity might be useful to them.

    [I could go on and on with stories about "my" £3k being stolen from the Nationwide BS, the local authority who failed to do anything about the fake voter on their register, the fake speeding fine address, my gardener's NINO being used by a doppelganger, getting two sets of paperwork for the 2011 census and then pointing out there were 2 households visible from my home, which had not had any paperwork at all........... perhaps you and I live in different countries?]

    My immediate problem is that I need to put some sort of tag on my file at Experian so that any sort of inquiry flags up as possible Identity Fraud. .    
  • zx81zx81 Forumite
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    My immediate problem is that I need to put some sort of tag on my file at Experian so that any sort of inquiry flags up as possible Identity Fraud. .    
    A CIFAS protective marker is what you need - that will also tackle the other CRAs, as you're currently only focusing in a single direction.
  • PRAISETHESUNPRAISETHESUN Forumite
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    If you're worried about fraud, make sure to check your credit files from all 3 CRAs - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. It would also be worth requesting a copy of your data held by CIFAS and National Hunter.

    I also agree that a CIFAS protective registration will help prevent fraudulent applications being made in your name. The registration will slow down legitimate applications, but presumably you won't be applying for credit anytime soon it's unlikely you'll notice any effect from this.
  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    I think the links between financial institutions must be working fairly well.
    I had to trudge into town to pay in a cheque and thought, while I'm here I might as well pick up some fresh bread and milk.
    I swept the two items into my back pack and smacked my debit card onto the terminal. It must have bleeped as I was half way out of the door, when the cashier called me back.
    The terminal was demanding my PIN. I will swear I got it right first time but my initial 4 figures were rejected and only on hte second attempt was it accepted.
    It feels like the attempt to take out credit in my name by a fraudster has already been notified to (one of) my banks!?!
  • BrieBrie Forumite
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    I've likely misunderstood but are you saying that Experian doesn't report on people that don't have a UK passport?

    I wonder as I don't have one but can get a report for myself from Experian.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • MaryNBMaryNB Forumite
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    Brie said:
    I've likely misunderstood but are you saying that Experian doesn't report on people that don't have a UK passport?

    I wonder as I don't have one but can get a report for myself from Experian.
    I'm completely lost with the opening post tbh. I'm an immigrant so don't have a UK passport and Experian have a full report for me. I know a few immigrants without UK passports who have had no issues getting an Experian report. 


    OP are you on the electoral register at your current address and is the address the council has for you the same as the address your bank uses for your accounts? Being on the electoral roll is how they verify your identity.
    The council registered my previous address slightly different to royal mail database (which my bank uses) so caused issues with my credit reports because they didn't match.


  • Fletcher86Fletcher86 Forumite
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    The original post is very confusing. Reading between the lines it seems then when the OP tried to register with HMRC for an online self assessment account they selected the option to use Experian as a way of confirming their identify. For whatever reason this did not work, could have been because the wrong answers were selected as part of the process, or because the OP has a thin credit file or because Experian made an error in some way. What it certainly isn't directly linked to is whether someone has or does not have a UK passport.

    It appears that as an alternative to using Experian to ID them, the OP went down the route of using their passport, but needed to actually get a passport before they could do this.

    In terms of the current situation where there is concern of fraud, I would recommend getting a copy of your statutory report for free from all three CRA's to see what is currently held there. If there is anything untoward or any accounts you feel are missing, you can then raise a case with the relevant CRA for them to investigate.

    In terms of protecting you going forward, as advised by others - sign up for CIFAS registration to ensure future credit applications in your name are flagged for manual review by lenders before approval.
  • CatsacorCatsacor Forumite
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    @John_Pierpoint how is this situation progressing ?
    First, take responsibility .....
  • John_PierpointJohn_Pierpoint Forumite
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    Fletcher86 understands my original posting.

     What actually happened is that I have been paying self assesment tax on-line since the concept was put on-line, perhaps a score of years ago. By doing the job on-line you can put off the hateful task until January, even though the odds are that you are owed a rebate.  Then I got a communication stressing how useful it would be to communicate by email, my initial thought was "What have we got here ? Mission creep?!?" but I ticked the box to agree and it did make sense to me..  However it then triggered-off a need to prove my identity (you can be any old "sock puppet" on the Interweb, as fraudsters well know).

    As I did not have a passport my only option was to click the box that said "Check with Experian" and Experian replied "not known". [However Experian was happy to take my £2 and and then send me several pages of bumph all about myself.]

    It was at this point that I managed to telephone Experian and got treated like a 4 year old; Why did I not realise that the database created by Experian, for use by the Government had a totally different specification from the mish mash of information used by the commercial sector.

    It would seem that Experian is nolonger used by the government to identify tax payers of dubious identity, but I now have a passport; so that is nolonger my problem. 

    However, it would seem that some fraudster has tried to use my name and address. I also have a theory as to what is causing the problem in our disconnected government departments and our uncommunicative credit agencies. So if they want to get in touch with me, my address is on the PO database & I know the name of my postie; so these organisations are welcome to send me a snail mail recorded delivery letter. This time round I am not prepared to spend my money and probably a week of my time sorting out their inaccurated databases. Perhaps their auditors ahould be required to conduct an accuracy check on the information as well as the accounts?

    [If you want a bit of a laugh, I think part of the problem dates back to a mistake made by a clerk 100 years ago, I will let you know when and if that resolves itself.].
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