Preventing ID fraud has often been regarded as a somewhat difficult and often futile task. However, Jamie Jamieson, a former GCHQ worker, has a pretty foolproof way to ensure that his identity remains safe from would be identity thieves. This method is as simple as it gets: Jamieson uses his thumbprint when applying for credit.
Regardless of the application, whether it’s for a phone contract, a credit card or a mortgage, Jamieson’s signature must be authenticated by his thumbprint. In addition to this, he also has a note in his credit file which states that any application for credit in his name that doesn’t have his thumbprint to back it up, must be turned down by the lender.
What are the advantages?
Using your thumbprint to sign off on credit purchases has many advantages. For starters, if someone does manage to steal your identity to take out a loan, for example, you will be able to hold the lender responsible. This is because your thumbprint was not used to verify the loan and so the lender should not have granted it. Credit providers are legally required to read notes put into credit files, so they can’t claim to be oblivious.
When a lender asks for a thumbprint to confirm an identity they would be able to ensure that you are who you say you are. Any criminals who attempt to steal your identity will have to provide a print, which they are unlikely to do since it can be given to the police when the lender realised fraud was being committed. As an extra deterrent, there is a UK-wide database that contains the fingerprints of people who have come into contact with the police. This database makes it so much easier for the police, who investigate fraud crimes, to catch and prosecute an identity thief.
However, using your thumbprint to protect your identity does have a few setbacks, namely that it can make applying for genuine credit more difficult. Having to be present and supply a thumbprint can be time consuming, which may be why this system is not being used enough. Yet, for those who don’t often apply for credit may not feel that this is such a big issue and that placing measures to protect their identity is well worth the time.
How can you use it?
Doing as Jamieson does and using your thumbprint as an extra form of identification when you apply for credit, is fairly straightforward to set up. Writing a note, which you will submit to your creditors, is the first step. Within this note, you should include your full name, address, date of birth and contact details. The note should state that you wish to authenticate all credit applications with your thumbprint and that any application without a thumbprint should be considered as fraudulent.
Blackhawk’s fraud investigations team
Preventing ID fraud is as easy as using your thumbprint to help make your identity secure. By doing this, you stand a much better chance of staying safe against identity fraudsters whose aim it is to steal from you.
In addition to ensuring that your personal identity is safe, it’s also important to ensure the safety of your business. Dealing with fraud within the business world can often be tricky because it can be difficult to trace and identify who is instigating the fraud in the first place. If you suspect any fraudulent activity within your company, then Blackhawk are here to help. We can put your mind at ease or identify the source of the fraud if it comes down to it.
For more information on how Blackhawk can support you if you’re worried about fraud, contact us today on 020 7788 8983.