Stopping ID Fraud - masked man holding computer

Preventing ID fraud is a difficult task but Jamie Jamieson, a former GCHQ worker, found an ingenious way to stop criminals from stealing his identity.

14 years ago, he placed a note on his credit file, stating that his thumbprint must accompany any credit application. Whether it was for a phone contract, credit card or mortgage, his signature had to be authenticated this way. Jamieson believes the system makes it virtually impossible for criminals to pretend to be him. And so far, he has been right. The great news is, anyone can use the same system, but most people don’t know about it.

What are the advantages of using your thumbprint as authentication?

The biggest advantage of using your thumbprint as authentication is the added protection you get from identity fraud. For example, if someone manages to steal your identity and attempts to take out a loan, the lender must ask for their thumbprint and match it to yours, as per the instruction in your credit files.

In the unfortunate event that a loan is taken out with a criminal’s thumbprint, then tracking them down is much easier. The police can use their UK-wide fingerprint database to identify the fraudster.

Using your thumbprint as authentication is clever, but there are a few setbacks. It can make applying for genuine credit more difficult, as having to be present and supplying a thumbprint can be time consuming and inconvenient. But for people who don’t often apply for credit, the increased identity protection it can provide outweighs the inconvenience.

Try it for yourself

Write a note and submit it to your creditors including your full name, address, date of birth and contact details. State that you wish to authenticate all credit applications with your thumbprint, and that any application without a thumbprint should be considered as fraudulent. Purchase a fingerprint ink pad too – in case your bank doesn’t have one, and you need to authenticate with your thumbprint.

Identify theft and your business

When employees become victims of identity theft, companies can suffer in many ways. Staff members who have been victimised may need to spend hundreds of hours resolving the crisis, causing a distraction to the business routine or even damage to your reputation. When a business falls victim to identify theft, the consequences can be dire as banks can stop the much-needed loans that keep your operation going. This is where Blackhawk Intelligence can help. For more information on how our fraud investigations team can help you out, contact us today on +44 (0)20 8108 9317 or fill out our Online Form.

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