What can I do to help protect my elderly mother’s address?

Dear James,

My elderly mother lives on her own, generally does not go out much & keeps her curtains drawn all the time. Over the past nine months she has started to receive letters chasing people for various loans at her address. My observation is that people have perceived my mothers house as empty and seen it as an easy target. Yesterday she received letters from a Civil Recovery Specialist chasing somebody for associated costs following shoplifting. The company said that the police should have verified the criminal’s address. Although I have since written to the police to ask if or how they verified their address, my mother is at the point where she needs to somehow find out how many people have used her address for purchasing financial/credit services or for other fraudulent use. If this is possible she would ideally like to put a note against the property to state only Mrs X & Mr Y live at this address thus rejecting any finance/credit applications being made against her address by others. Please could you advise?

Mr Tamber, Derby

Dear Mr Tamber,

I can understand your mother's concerns - this must be a real worry for her. Let me start by putting your minds at rest on one important issue. Credit checks are these days made on people and not addresses, so any financial information registered at your mother's address about other people would not show up if she applied for credit. The only way credit reports can become linked is by joint financial activity, such as two people applying for credit together, so your mother has no need to worry about her own credit rating. While you can register information on your own credit report, you can't add information to someone else's, for understandable reasons. The best advice I can give is to return any post that arrives addressed to other people to the senders, clearly marked 'wrong address or fraud'. The organisations should then investigate and take any appropriate action. I hope this helps. (November 2011)

James
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