Credit Swindlers Claim UK Victims

By Cpp, PRNE
Tuesday, November 16, 2010

YORK, England, November 17, 2010 - Identity thieves have devalued the credit ratings of thousands of
unsuspecting Brits according to a new study.

The study commissioned by life assistance company CPP reveals that nearly
900,000 people (1) have had their credit rating unfairly damaged by

The report reveals the true extent that identity thieves wreak on their
victims. Nearly half of people (48%) said it cost them financially, with the
monetary repercussions averaging over GBP7,000, enough to put many people in
serious financial difficulty. Costs included individuals losing out on low
interest credit cards and loans (48 per cent), refused a mortgage (20 per
cent) and lost earnings (10 per cent) whilst one in twenty (5 per cent) had
to pay legal fees.

The nightmare doesn't stop at financial costs. On average it takes over
400 days - nearly 14 months to get a damaged credit file back to health with
half of Brits (50 per cent) either not ever getting the problem resolved, or
not knowing if their credit status is back on track.

With the cost and time hitting victims hard, it isn't surprising that it
has an emotional impact. The report also revealed over half had suffered high
levels of stress, strained personal relationships (41 per cent) sleepless
nights (35 per cent) and having to take time off work (7 per cent).

But it's clear that consumer ignorance is playing a role in helping
identity thieves go undetected. The vast majority have no qualms supplying
their personal data online, including names, dates of birth and addresses,
where it can be accessed by millions.

And when their personal details were swiped, many people didn't know how
to resolve a poor credit rating, which is one of the consequences of identity
fraud. Even if they did, they said it was time consuming, expensive and
complicated to do so. Only one in 20 (4 per cent) review their credit report
on a monthly basis as recommended by experts and half of people admit they
have never checked their credit report. Four per cent admitted they didn't
even know what a credit report is.

Worryingly, the majority of people only found out they had a bad credit
rating when they applied for a mortgage, loan or credit card.

The findings come as CPP warns consumers to take control of their
identities by regularly checking their credit reports and guarding their
personal information against identity thieves.

Nicole Sanders, identity fraud expert from CPP said: "It is clear
consumers need to wake up to the fact that identity thieves are out there. In
October, the National Fraud Authority estimated that identity fraud affects
over 1.8 million people every year. Stolen identities are used to obtain a
wide range of goods and services in the victim's name including loans, credit
cards and false bank accounts.

"To stop identity thieves, consumers need to check their credit reports
on a monthly basis for suspicious transactions and be more responsible in
looking after their personal information."

To protect consumers against the financial and emotional cost of identity
theft, CPP provides Identity Protection that provides insurance to cover any
costs associated with clearing a victim's name. SMS and e-mail alerts
proactively inform policyholders if their credit status changes and the
product checks whether their personal information is held on insecure
websites. Should the worst happen, resolution experts are on hand to help
victims restore their identities for them.

For more information, please visit or

Notes to editor

(1) 44% of people claim they have had a bad credit rating at least once.
44% of the adult British population (49,051,000 according to ONS) =
21,582,440. 4% say their credit rating was affected by their identities or
passwords being stolen; therefore 4% of 21,582,440 = 863,298 people.

Research Methodology

Research was carried out online by Research Now among 2,005 people on 30
September 2010

Corporate Background Information

The CPPGroup Plc

The CPPGroup Plc (CPP) is an international marketing services business
offering bespoke customer management solutions to multi-sector business
partners designed to enhance their customer revenue, engagement and loyalty,
whilst at the same time reducing cost to deliver improved profitability.

This is underpinned by the delivery of a portfolio of complementary Life
Assistance products, designed to help our mutual customers cope with the
anxieties associated with the challenges and opportunities of everyday life.

Whether our customers have lost their wallets, been a victim of identity
fraud or looking for lifestyle perks, CPP can help remove the hassle from
their lives leaving them free to enjoy life. Globally, our Life Assistance
products and services are designed to simplify the complexities of everyday
living whether these affect personal finances, home, travel, personal data or
future plans. When it really matters, Life Assistance enables people to live
life and worry less.

Established in 1980, CPP has 10 million customers and more than 200
business partners across Europe, North America and Asia and employs 1,900
employees who handle millions of sales and service conversations each year.

In 2009, Group revenue was GBP292.1 million, an increase of more than 12
per cent over the previous year.

In March 2010, CPP debuted on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

What We Do:

CPP provides a range of assistance products and services that allow our
business partners to forge closer relationships with their customers.

We have a solution for many eventualities, including:

    - Insuring our customers' mobile phones against loss, theft and damage

    - Protecting the payment cards in our customers' wallets and purses,
      should these be lost or stolen

    - Providing assistance and protection if a customer's keys are lost or

    - Providing advice, insurance and assistance to protect customers against
      the insidious crime of identity fraud

    - Assisting customers with their travel needs be it an emergency (for
      example lost passport), or basic translation service

    - Monitoring the credit status of our customers

    - Provision of packaged services to business partners' customers

    CPP is an award winning organisation:

    - Winner in the European Contact Centre Awards, Large Team of the Year
      category, 2010

    - Finalist in the European Contact Centre Awards, Best Centre for
      Customer Service, Large Contact Centre of the Year categories, 2010

    - Winner in the National Sales Awards, Contact Centre Sales Team of the
      Year category, 2010

    - Finalist in the National Insurance Fraud Awards, Counter Fraud
      Initiative of the Year category, 2009

    - Finalist in the European Contact Centre Awards, Large Team and Advisor
      of the Year categories, 2009

    - Named in the Sunday Times 2008 PricewaterhouseCoopers Profit Track 100

    - Finalists in the National Business Awards, 3i Growth Strategy category,

    - Finalist in the National Business Awards, Business of the Year
      category, 2007, 2009 and Highly Commended in 2008

    - Named in the Sunday Times 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 HSBC Top Track 250

    - Regional winner of the National Training Awards, 2007

    - Winner of the BITC Health, Work and Well-Being Award, 2007

    - Highly Commended in the UK National Customer Service Awards, 2006

    - Winner of the Tamworth Community Involvement Award, 2006. Finalist in

    - Highly Commended in The Press Best Link Between Business and Education,
      2005 and 2006. Winner in 2007

    - Finalist in the National Business Awards, Innovation category, 2005

For more information on CPP click on

For more information or to arrange a time for interview with CPP's identity fraud expert, Nicole Sanders, please call Band & Brown Communications: Eoghan Hughes - +44(0)20-7419-6976 / +44(0)7852-881-983l; Sarah Davidson - +44(0)20-7419-7346 / +44(0)7731-462451

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