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N Hunter Limited - The Secret Credit Reference Agency!


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N Hunter Limited (now owned by the Experian Group but used to be owned by MCL Software Ltd) run the National Hunter Database. The National hunter is an anti-fraud system that collates and stores application information (mortgages, loand, credit cards) supplied by lenders and searches for differences in application information (name, dob, salary, employer, previous addresses) if suspect information is found then it is flagged to the lender, application rejected & investigation started.

 

The major flaw is that the applicant would never know if this had happened which leaves it wide open to error! You could never know that you are on this system for you to do anythnig about the information they hold on you, it's not flagged up on your file like CIFAS is! :eek:

 

 

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM 1991, IT'S A FAIR BET SO SAY ALL FINANCIAL INSTUTIONS NOW USE THE NATIONAL HUNTER FOR ALL TYPES OF CREDIT APPLICATION

 

 

When a lender underwrites an application they will normally credit search either Equifax or Experian (or both). A lot are now using window-based scoring systems that will then immediately default to National Hunter. Key information from subject name, address, D[ate]O[f]B[irth], bankers, NI Number, solicitors and property they are intending to purchase are all entered. This information will then be matched to existing application details from previous mortgage applications and some consumer credit applications.

 

1. Hunter Systems

 

Hunter is the name given to a software product developed and sold by MCL Software Limited. It detects frauds by comparing current applications received against previous applications received, to identify inconsistencies in the data, multiple applications etc.

 

Hunter systems can be set-up in a number of different ways:

 

a) Local Hunter * the system only matches data from within one company. For example: today’s mortgage applications are cross-matched against the applications received in the previous X years. Data on the individual may be held on the company Hunter system and by MCL.

 

b) Group Hunter * the system matches data across all the companies in a Group of companies. For example: today’s mortgage applications to XX Bank are cross-matched with XX Bank’s credit card and current account applications. Data on the individual may be held by the individual company Hunter system, by the Group Hunter system and by MCL.

 

c) Industry Hunter * the system matches data across companies in an industry who have agreed to allow their data to be used for this purpose. Mortgage Lenders have set up an industry Hunter, so have insurance companies and Local Authorities have set up an industry Hunter for Council Housing Benefits.

 

For example: an application for motor insurance to ‘Telephone Direct’ is matched with motor insurance applications to ‘Insurance On-line’ and ‘Owl Car Policies’. If there is a match it is reported to the insurance company concerned. Data on the individual may be held by the individual company Hunter system, the Group Hunter system, by the other companies in the industry on their Hunter or Group Hunter systems and by MCL.

 

d) National Hunter * the system matches data across up 50 or more companies who have agreed to allow their data to be used in this way. For example: an application for a mortgage is cross- checked against millions of applications received by any of the 50 plus companies, as far back as 6 years ago. Any match is reported to the company concerned. Data on the individual may be held by the individual company Hunter system, the Group Hunter system, by the other companies in National Hunter on their Hunter or Group Hunter systems and by MCL. National Hunter includes nearly all the mortgage lenders and many credit cards and personal loan companies. Nearly all banks and building societies use National Hunter. CIFAS data on confirmed frauds is held on National Hunter.

 

2. How Does Hunter Work?

 

Applications received by the company are entered into their own databases and the application data is passed or transmitted to MCL. They cross-match it against other application and fraud data, including CIFAS according to which Hunter scheme, the company participates in. If it is the most widely used National Hunter, any matches are reported back to the National Hunter members to investigate. National Hunter matches are decided by a set of rules as to what is a match and what is not.

 

Example: A mortgage application is made to a National Bank. It matches against 6 applications to other mortgage lenders and against 3 applications for credit cards. The matches are reported back to the Bank and the data is stored on its internal Hunter system. The Bank investigates the matches, and sees the matching application data in full through the system. They then decide the mortgage application is fraudulent and place an indicator on their Hunter systems that is transmitted to the National Hunter database at MCL to indicate the application is a fraud. No-one will then do any business with that customer.

 

If National Bank decide the application is just suspicious rather than fraudulent, they place a suspicious indicator on their Hunter database.

 

These indicators are stored by the individual company Hunter system, the Group Hunter system, by the other companies on their Hunter or Group Hunter systems and by MCL. If a mistake is made, how can the individual ever know all the records have been corrected? Never.

 

The fraud data is kept for 6 years or more and stops individuals ever getting a mortgage during that time. Other fraud data (including mortgages) in the industry is discarded earlier than this. Why is Hunter fraud data treated differently? The Data Protection Commissioner lets them get away with this.

 

Data is stored on so many parts of Hunter by some many companies on different databases, that when a mistake is made and later corrected, how can a customer have any confidence the data has been removed from every database?

 

When a mistake is made, one fraud database may be corrected, but there are no procedures to ensure all the others are. Hunter, CIFAS, and any others should be required to ensure this is the case.

 

The Chairman of Hunter is a woman from Nationwide Building Society. The Hunter Association is not a limited company so you can take her to court personally if you find something wrong with the data. Only when someone does so will this system become transparent to consumers. Others on the Association management committee are from Britannia Building Society, Northern Rock, Grabbey National, Barclays, and so on.

 

 

That's worrying if you ask me! Someone tries a bit of identy fraud with your details but does not go through with it fully for whatever reasons, they may have passed enough dodgy information and raised enough suspision through application forms to have you added on to the Hunter System for any individual financual institution or in fact the National Hunter Database, you would never know apart from no lenders touching you with a bargepole! :mad::o

 

I for one have in the past when filling out application forms been somewhat innacurate when trying to remember when exactly I have live in different addresses over the last 6 years (ive moved about 8 times) so potentially from application to application I may have got my dates wrong. Also, working in the job I do my salary fluctuates and so does my employer change so these details on application forms will have been different too.

 

A prime example... I earn £31k in my main job. In Jan I started working every Saturday that I was off from my main (half and half) over a year this was worth an extra £4k to me. I applied for a number of credit cards in feb/march and stated my income was £35k (as it was at the time). last month I decided to quit that job as I didnt want to work EVERY saturday and I have since applied for another loan, credit card and catalogue stating my salary is £31k. Is a 4k wage increase and then decrease in 5 months enough to raise suspision? PROBABLY!

 

I POTENTIALLY MAY WELL HAVE FLAGGED MYSELF UP ON THE HUNTER DATABASES THE FINANCIAL INSTUTIONS HOLD INTERNALLY AND MAYBE EVEN THE NATIONAL HUNTER, I WOULD NEVER KNOW APART FROM BEING REJECTED FOR ANYTHING I APPLY FOR :-x:o:-(

 

The only way to be sure is to S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) N Hunter Limited and that's exactly what i'm going to do, details can be found here.

 

Problems gaining credit

 

You can read up more about the Hunter Database at the following links, it's scary stuff!

 

MCL Software - the secret credit reference agency

 

Experian - Experian’s new hunter system takes the fight against fraud global

Completed:

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Ongoing:

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  • 3 weeks later...
Hello

The chairman of Hunters is a woman from the Nationwide Bld society

The Hunter Association is not a limited company.

S.A.R - (Subject Access Request). N Hunter limited ??

 

 

Not according to this:

 

Problems gaining credit

 

How to obtain details of the information we hold about you.

 

We maycarry out a search, on your behalf, under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act. In order to carry out this search, we will require:

Your date of birth.*

The addresses you have occupied during the last 6 years,with the dates you were at each address.

Payment of £10. Cheques or Postal Orders made payable to N HUNTER Limited.

A copy of a document that shows your authorised signature (e.g. a Passport or Driving Licence).

A copy of a recent utility bill, such as telephone, electricity,gas or council tax, which shows your present name and address.

 

We reserve the right to see original identification documents.

All the information listed above should be sent to:

N HUNTER Limited, PO Box 2756 Stoke-on-Trent ST6 9AQ

Completed:

RBOS Charges - £2435 settled in full :)

RBOS Default Removal - Removed :)

Carphone Warehouse Default Removal - Removed :)

Welcome Finance Default Removal - Removed :)

Viking Direct CCJ - Removed :)

Littlewoods Default - Removed :-o

 

Ongoing:

N Hunter SAR

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Notice they 'reserve the right to see original identification documents'. What right have they actually got to ask for this information, let alone gather it and share it around - list broking again on a GRAND scale.

 

I WONT be giving them £10 to ask for original identification documents - it isn't a requirement of the SAR regulations anyway!

 

I think this lot need reporting - but of course they haven't actually committed an offence as they 'gather' information - rather than buy and sell it.....

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I think this could be contrary to the Data Protection Act. When you give your authorisation for a company to do a credit check on you, you are not giving them authorisation to look at every single thing you have applied for in the last 6 years. I think a company would require you to specifically give consent for them to search this database.

 

My god, talk about big brother watching you!!! This is scary stuff!!!

 

Gemspan

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I think this could be contrary to the Data Protection Act. When you give your authorisation for a company to do a credit check on you, you are not giving them authorisation to look at every single thing you have applied for in the last 6 years. I think a company would require you to specifically give consent for them to search this database.

 

My god, talk about big brother watching you!!! This is scary stuff!!!

 

Gemspan

 

I think the problem is that most T's&C's state "You agree to us sharing your information with Credit Reference Agencies & Fraud Prevention Agencies"

 

While I agree there has to be things in place to prevent fraud I think the hunter system is VERY flawed, at least with the CRA's you have an opportunity to easily review the information they hold and dispute it if you feel it is incorrect. Cant really say the same about Hunter LTD can we! :mad:

 

Something as simple as salary fluctuation or innaccurate dates of address residency could potentially blacklist you from any of the big lenders... WITHOUT YOU EVEN KNOWING IT!

 

My S.A.R - (Subject Access Request) will be going off to them this week.

 

I'll keep this updated. ;)

Edited by TheAnalyst

Completed:

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RBOS Default Removal - Removed :)

Carphone Warehouse Default Removal - Removed :)

Welcome Finance Default Removal - Removed :)

Viking Direct CCJ - Removed :)

Littlewoods Default - Removed :-o

 

Ongoing:

N Hunter SAR

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There's also a on line 'finance broker' who's not actually a broker at all

 

They offer non status loans particularly to people with poor ratings. Should you apply you will be rejected because the sole reason for this 'broker' is to ID for creditors the debtors who have gone away

 

I can't yet name them as they are the subject of an investigation by both the Information Commissioners Office & the OFT

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Very interesting - I noticed though that they link to a lot of gambling sites and have a 'self exclusion' programme for these - well I SELF EXCLUDE myself from them being able to process any data about me!

 

Big brother can be stuffed silly with fake data and still claim to be 'whiter than white' and working 'for the public interest'.

 

Rubbish - they are paid by somebody - and need to be stopped. This is another reason we are having a credit crunch - so much data being 'shared' is bad for the businesses involved and sooner rather than later they will wake up to this fact.

 

Off my soapbox now...

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when applying for credit, a creditor in there terms and conditions state that they will check with the cra and fraud prevention agencies.

 

what is hunter classed as, a dca/cra or fraud agency

 

in the past when my credit file was shot, on declining my application, they sent me a letter saying what cra they used, never one for a fraud agency.

are creditors deliberate in keeping hunter quiet.

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well as we know things cant be kept quiet for long.

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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infowars.com is that the same as tribalwar.net?

OFT debt collection guidance

 

Please remember the only stupid question is the one you dont ask so dont worry about asking the stupid questions.

 

Essex girl in pc world looking 4 curtains 4 her pc,the assistant says u dont need curtains 4 a computer!!Essex girl says,''HELLOOO!! i,ve got WINDOWS!!'.

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We reserve the right to see original identification documents.

All the information listed above should be sent to:

N HUNTER Limited, PO Box 2756 Stoke-on-Trent ST6 9AQ

 

Going by that postcode and a quick look on google earth, these muppets are about 5mins from where I live.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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It's ok the postcode and google earth provided enough info. Popping along after work tomorrow and see how big their office is. I have a feeling it's just a mailbox in an office block from the google earth pics of the buildings on that street.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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It's a small office on an industrial estate. One building that houses around 12 different small business units. But they do have a small sign above the door.

These are video links to show how I deal with Debt Collectors.

 

Fly fishing for C.A.R.S

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zPtzK8FqE6k&feature=related

 

Frederickson International don't accept my card type

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eiZBULlWW6Q&feature=related

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It's a small office on an industrial estate. One building that houses around 12 different small business units. But they do have a small sign above the door.

 

Good find... still waiting for my SAR from them.

Completed:

RBOS Charges - £2435 settled in full :)

RBOS Default Removal - Removed :)

Carphone Warehouse Default Removal - Removed :)

Welcome Finance Default Removal - Removed :)

Viking Direct CCJ - Removed :)

Littlewoods Default - Removed :-o

 

Ongoing:

N Hunter SAR

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  • 2 months later...

Haha what did I say!!!

 

National Hunter: The credit agency no-one has heard of | Money | The Guardian

 

The secret credit agency:

Uncovered: the little-known organisation that can make or break a loan application and charges a hefty £10 to reveal what data it has on you. Tony Levene reports

 

It does not publicise its phone number or give an address beyond a PO box number belonging to a small office on a run-down street in Stoke-on-Trent.

 

Its name is unknown to the public. Yet it carries out around 100,000 credit checks every day, probing applications ranging from mortgages to car loans and store cards.

 

Ask a bank or finance company why you've been rejected, and you will probably be told to contact one, or all, of the credit reference agencies - Callcredit, Equifax, and Experian - to see what they have on you. Send them £2 and you'll get a copy of your file by return.

 

Now Guardian Money can reveal there's a fourth agency, called "National Hunter", whose approval - or otherwise - can make or break an application. But, unlike the others, you won't find out the information it holds on you for £2, or be invited to apply online to check your data. Instead, National Hunter charges £10, the maximum allowed under the Data Protection Act.

 

Last year, 5m applications for credit were turned down across the industry, but how many were as a result of National Hunter is unknown. And, until now, the organisation's extremely low profile has meant that few individuals rejected for credit will have thought to check with National Hunter.

 

It was set up by a group of banks in 1993, but is now co-owned by 60 banks, building societies and specialist lenders. Its official headquarters are in Stoke-on-Trent though little of what it does takes place in the building. Although it's owned by the banks, National Hunter is managed and operated on a day-to-day basis by Experian, the giant of the credit agencies, based in Nottingham.

 

It does not assess creditworthiness in the same way as the other agencies - its sole purpose is fraud prevention. It is one of the most important weapons used by lenders in the continuing battle against financial crime.

 

National Hunter will warn a lender if its checks suggest that an application is "suspect". In turn, the lender's computer may then turn down an application, without informing the applicant precisely why, or which database was checked. The vast majority of its rejections are likely to be for entirely legitimate reasons.

 

But quite how many files National Hunter holds on individuals is unknown. And what if the "suspect indication" arises because of human or computer error - or because you presented the lender with facts that it cannot easily check?

 

"Suspect" or "inconsistent" facts, which may cause applications to be flagged as fraud risks, can include:

 

· Change of employer over a short period;

 

· Differences in spelling of a surname, initial, or date of birth;

 

· Change in driving licence number or a variation in other identification documentation;

 

· The same mobile phone number from more than one applicant;

 

· A substantial change in stated salary over a short period;

 

· Income which is difficult or impossible to verify;

 

· Applicants using details that are apparently from a deceased person.

 

Barclaycard is a major user of National Hunter. "Every night, we send it almost all our card applications. Next morning, its computers send them back, either with OK or showing a potential fraud," a spokesperson says. "If it's the latter, then we might decide to contact the applicant, although that may depend on other factors."

 

Mortgage lenders that we spoke to said they use the standard Experian and Equifax systems first, then decide whether to lend. Only then do they contact National Hunter to check it is not potentially dishonest.

 

But while the system weeds out many possibly fraudulent applications, legitimate applicants could fall foul of a check for innocent reasons - you might have had a big salary increase, or simply handed over an old mobile to a member of your family. According to a recent National Hunter presentation, to be "inconsistent" there has to be "a clear discrepancy between information provided by the consumer and information found, or not able to be found or verified elsewhere".

 

So the information you provide could be true, but it will be treated as potentially fraudulent if National Hunter cannot find enough information to check what you say. But if you question the rejection, banks will generally send a standard letter pointing you to one or more of the three credit agencies.

 

You won't be told about National Hunter - although you have a right under the Data Protection Act to demand a "subject access request" requiring a company to reveal what it holds on you.

 

The difficulty is, very few know about National Hunter's existence, let alone what it does. Managing director Tracy Wingrove told Guardian Money: "Any member of the public who wishes to obtain details of information we hold about themselves as individuals can request them under Section 7 of the Data Protection Act."

 

But she agrees that "sometimes it is not that easy to know about us".

 

She adds: "Our members are required to include certain key elements within the declaration/fair processing notices section of their application forms. The wording should indicate that applicants can find out which fraud prevention agencies are used and the method by which they can find this out.

 

"Our members must ensure that this information is made readily available to the applicant and preferably by means of a dedicated telephone contact number. If you ask your bank, it has to tell you about our existence."

 

Wingrove says banks should not turn someone down simply on the basis of one of its alerts. "Our rules say members can't make automated decisions. We would be concerned if banks did that."

 

The information commissioner, responsible for data protection issues, has expressed "strong views" on rejecting applications on fraud suspicion grounds alone, realising that no database is 100% foolproof.

 

Firms involved with fighting fraud recognise there is a clash between those who believe visibility harms fraud prevention and those who believe better knowledge of what can happen to a false application is a deterrent to potential fraudsters.

 

Wingrove accepts that National Hunter could be more visible. "We are providing a service to cut back on fraud and on identity theft. But we are happy to take Guardian Money's comments and concerns on board, and to address the issue of our low profile. We are moving to reveal more of our decision making over the next few months."

 

• National Hunter's website is nhunter.co.uk. Its address is N Hunter Limited, PO Box 2756, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 9AQ. It has no telephone or email address for the public to use.

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Carphone Warehouse Default Removal - Removed :)

Welcome Finance Default Removal - Removed :)

Viking Direct CCJ - Removed :)

Littlewoods Default - Removed :-o

 

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