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Just how many secret credit agencies are there?


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While I wait to hear back from N Hunter, Synectic Solutions & CIFAS, I decided to move on to the insurance industry, to see what they might have done with my personal data.

 

I have had a few policies with Direct Line, who are part of the RBS group of companies, so I checked the terms and conditions of their home insurance policies.

 

If you take the time to read all of the text below, you will see that they have a very broad range of excuses for why they might pass your data around. I notice that they mention collecting IP addresses and phone numbers, they talk about managing credit facilities, recovering debt, understanding customers' needs (direct marketing?) and fraud. It's worth pointing out that their definition of fraud includes "where fraud is ... suspected". (not necessarily proven)

 

Oh yes, and they are allowed to pass your data to other countries as well (we don't know which ones, or what Data Protection laws are like there).

 

If you don't have time to read all of the text below, then just read the paragraph I have circled in red. Yes, Direct Line won't even tell you the names of the companies that they regularly pass customers' personal details to, unless they take the time and trouble to write in and ask....

 

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The Data Protection Officer

Regulatory Risk Department

Direct Line

Churchill Court

Westmoreland Road

Bromley

BR1 1DP

 

Dear Sir or Madam

 

Request for list of companies with whom you share personal information

 

In your home insurance standard terms and conditions it states:

 

“We can provide the names and addresses of the agencies we use if you would like a copy of your information held by them. Please contact us at the address below. The agencies may charge a fee.”

 

Please take this as notification that I would like you to provide me with a list of these companies and their contact details.

 

Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

 

Yours faithfully

 

Militant Consumer

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What would happen if you don't have a passport, driving license, utility bill (i have no utilities in my name)and bank statement (my building society doesnt send statements) like me?

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I have received a second reply from Synectic Solutions.

 

They appear to be using a complicated argument about Data Processors and Data Controllers as justification to demand all this ID.

 

Does anybody know if these terms and arguments have any basis under the Data Protection Act?

 

I intend to call the ICO next week, but to be honest I will probably get more sense out of CAG!

 

synectic2.jpg

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Why not just send them a dodgy DN? That should cover the Bank statement ID under List B. Just make sure it is dated correctly. It has to be less than 3 months old or it will be rejected ;)

Please note that I am not a solicitor or legally trained. The advice I give is from my own personal experience based on my own personal circumstance. If you choose to follow any advice I may give, please make sure you understand the implications of following that advice. :-)

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They All Seem To Be Quoting The Data Protection Act Etc

 

Look At It This Way

 

Why Do They Need Passport/driving Licence Etc

 

They All Have Your Sig On

 

You Can Bet That Those Docs Will Be Scanned Into Some Pc

 

 

Scary Stuff This

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It is interesting to note that Synectic Solutions state that the driving licence which I sent them "meets the requirements from list A".

 

The document which I sent them was a photocopy of a photocopy. I blacked out my photograph, my signature and all other details which I was not already telling them.

 

"Industry best practice procedures", eh?

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Sorry to jump onto this thread, but I really think that something should be done about these 'Fraud Agencies.' My main issue is that, unlike CIFAS, you have no way of being alerted to any potential issues concerning your data. They demand copies of personal info, how do we know we can trust them with this sesitive information? Someting doesn't 'feel right' in my opinion.

 

They appear to fob us all off citing the DPA and how it doesn't apply directly to their business. I personally have had enough of these faceless companies making demands and dealing in my personal information.

 

I for one would love to start taking these guys on... if enough of us petition the ICO, our local MPs etc, things could change, but we need enough of us to stand up together and move things forward.

 

Any thoughts?

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Sorry to jump onto this thread, but I really think that something should be done about these 'Fraud Agencies.' My main issue is that, unlike CIFAS, you have no way of being alerted to any potential issues concerning your data. They demand copies of personal info, how do we know we can trust them with this sesitive information? Someting doesn't 'feel right' in my opinion.

 

They appear to fob us all off citing the DPA and how it doesn't apply directly to their business. I personally have had enough of these faceless companies making demands and dealing in my personal information.

 

I for one would love to start taking these guys on... if enough of us petition the ICO, our local MPs etc, things could change, but we need enough of us to stand up together and move things forward.

 

Any thoughts?

 

You are not jumping in, m2000, other people's input is very useful.

 

My personal suspicions are that there are some outrageous practices going on here, and that they will become more and more widespead as financial institutions "improve" their databases and systems.

 

However, what we need first is evidence, and I am trying to collect some.

 

Irony of ironies that my main obstacle to finding out what they know about me is .... not wanting them to know anything about me!

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Once again, there is reference to "other countries".

 

Once again, they're not making it easy for us, even to find out who they have shared the data with, let alone what that data actually is.

 

I am wondering if Direct Line (RBS) and Halifax (Lloyds) will be using the same agencies as Alliance & Leicester - N Hunter, Synectic Solutions, CIFAS and (possibly) Experian Decisions Analytics.

 

I am also wondering how this data is really being used in practice. Are they hiding behind the "fraud prevention" banner, but in fact accumulating a load of really personal information about people, which they can then pass onto their clients for inappropriate use.

 

I hope I am not being paranoid - but from what I have read about DCAs, for example, I doubt it.

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I am glad I am not the only one who has serious doubts over the use of information.

 

How can we try and obtain more clarity from the Financial Institutions?? I for one have no problem in using systems to detect/prevent criminal activity, but it appears that in my simplistic opinion, financial instituions utilise the fraud databases as a way of 'talking' to eachother and basically blacklisting people they don't want to do business with! who knows what secret 'codes' are used that we never see.

 

In a time when taxpayers are essentially propping up large banks, why should any genuine person have to put up with banking/financial exclusion... why should these companies be able /justify using our personal details.?? how do we know our data is safe?? what safeguards are in place??

 

If enough of us were to SAR these agencies would this hurt them?

 

What about some sort of petition? get enough people to sign and present this to the ICO and government.

 

Just trying to get ideas together of how we can potentially make life as hard as possible for these companies who profit off jubious activities trading in OUR personal information...

 

Here endeth my rant for today!

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Right, I called Halifax today on the number mentioned in post #39 above, and asked them to clarify which "fraud prevention agencies they use".

 

The guy I spoke to told me that he had never received a call asking for this kind of information before. He said that Halifax only use CIFAS, and even then they would only pass my details onto them if I had made a fraudulent application.

 

I asked him why, if they only use CIFAS, their Privacy Statement mentions "fraud prevention agencies" (plural) rather than "fraud prevention agency" (singular) and also why there was a comment about other countries.

 

At this point he passed me onto his manager, who was a lady called "Sue".

 

Sue told me that she was unable to discuss which systems they use because this is sensitive information. But she agreed to send me a letter listing out the agencies they pass customer data onto.

 

I was given the following list of organisations:

1. Experian Limited

2. Equifax PLC

3. CallCredit Limited

4. MCL Software Limited

5. Synectic Solutions Limited

 

I queried whether this was a full list, given that CIFAS was not included on it. At this point I was told that in addition they also liaise with CIFAS.

 

I can expect to receive the letter by the end of the week.

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If you type "MCL Software" into Google you get Experian Decision Analytics as the top result.

 

Experian Decision Analytics - Application Fraud Prevention

 

The answer

 

Conventional underwriting techniques do not always identify fraud, so Experian offers a complete authentication and application fraud prevention proposition to stop fraud losses before they start.

 

As an automated system, fraud detection is rapid and efficient against both hard and soft fraud.Application fraud detection is powered by the advanced Hunter fraud detection system. As an automated system, fraud detection is rapid and efficient against both hard and soft fraud.

 

Designed to be highly configurable, the system can be used for all types of application fraud and across multiple products and services.

 

Authentication is powered by Universal ID Check.

 

In the UK, Detect is an application fraud prevention system that can be integrated with other systems such as Hunter. It is a real-time, online, anomaly checking system that checks application data against a variety of Experian databases, including the credit bureau. Read more about Detect.

Edited by militantconsumer
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Wikipedia definition of Hard v Soft Fraud

 

Hard vs. Soft Fraud

Insurance fraud can be classified as either hard fraud or soft fraud.

 

Hard fraud occurs when someone deliberately plans or invents a loss, such as a collision, auto theft, or fire that is covered by their insurance policy in order to receive payment for damages. Criminal rings are sometimes involved in hard fraud schemes that can steal millions of dollars.

Soft fraud, which is far more common than hard fraud, is sometimes also referred to as opportunistic fraud. This type of fraud consists of policyholders exaggerating otherwise legitimate claims. For example, when involved in a collision an insured person might claim more damage than was really done to his or her car. Soft fraud can also occur when, while obtaining a new insurance policy, an individual misreports previous or existing conditions in order to obtain a lower premium on their insurance policy.

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Wikipedia definition of Hard v Soft Fraud

 

Hard vs. Soft Fraud

 

Soft fraud, which is far more common than hard fraud, is sometimes also referred to as opportunistic fraud. This type of fraud consists of policyholders exaggerating otherwise legitimate claims. For example, when involved in a collision an insured person might claim more damage than was really done to his or her car. Soft fraud can also occur when, while obtaining a new insurance policy, an individual misreports previous or existing conditions in order to obtain a lower premium on their insurance policy.

 

Like the our members of Parliament that made many claims for second homes and duck island and bath plugs as well as ordering sack of manure, the list is endless with our money. Surely this is fraud as well. :x

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Here is the response I have had from Halifax. It is obviously a letter which has been cobbled together especially for me. I have to say I find it surprising that nobody else has asked them this question before.

 

This letter tends to suggest that "EDA" (Experian Decisions Analytics) or "MCL Software" as they appear to also be known, are a key company that I need to Subject Access Request.

 

As mentioned above, they also claim (on their website) to use "the advanced Hunter fraud detection system". Could this company, rather than N Hunter, be the one we should be looking at?

 

halifax-1.jpg

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