Has my credit history been ruined by card fraud?

Dear James,

I can’t open a bank account due to bad credit history. My Barclaycard was lost and I think somebody committed fraud on it.  Barclays closed down my account and now I am having trouble opening an account anywhere else. Can you please help me and let me know what I can do?

Mohammed, London

Dear Mohammed,

If fraud did take place, it is certainly possible that this damaged your credit history. You should start by getting a copy of your credit report. You can then see exactly what has been recorded by the bank and also by your other lenders, past and present. If the bank has registered late payments because of the actions of a fraudster you need to bring this to their attention because the information will need to be changed. You can either take this up with them yourself or you can contact us and ask for help from our Victims of Fraud team. They will help you check your report for other signs of fraud, liaise with any lenders affected and, if further fraud is likely, help you add security features to your report to shore things up. If you have been refused credit elsewhere it would also help you to go back to the lender or lenders concerned and ask them to tell you the principle reason for saying no. Only they know this and you may find out something that will help you in the future. (November 2012)

James
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