News Article


Creditsafe launches new free fraud alert service for businesses

By CreditMan Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Creditsafe, the business intelligence experts, has announced the launch of Fraud Alert, a new free online service that will caution company directors when changes are made to their businesses’ information at Companies House – alerting them to potential company identity fraud.

The Creditsafe Fraud Alert service follows consultation with the Metropolitan Police Economic Crime Unit.

A typical company identity fraud happens when fraudsters change a company address, order goods to be delivered to that address, then fail to pay for them. The defrauded company is unaware of the transaction until the supplier chases them for payment and the fraudster cannot be found. Criminals also use hi-jacked company or director details to secure what can be substantial loans, leaving the defrauded company to pay.

Creditsafe has developed the free-of-charge alert service in response to recent growth in company fraud. Companies House reports that it witnesses between 50 and 100 cases of company fraud each month, while the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) states in its 2009 Crime Survey that 12,000 of its members reported instances of company ID fraud.

Creditsafe Fraud Alert reports all changes made to data. If registered directors are advised of changes that they have made themselves, they need take no action. If it is an unexpected change, they can quickly navigate through to the National Fraud Authority website, where they can report suspected company fraud.

David Knowles, Business Development Director, Creditsafe, said: “We take the rise in company identity theft very seriously. One problem is that busy company directors don’t tend to keep an eye on the details held on themselves or their companies, so that the first time they know that a fraudulent change has been made is when they become a real victim of fraud and are left with a bill for what can be significant losses. Using our service, they can stay one step ahead of the fraudsters.”

Creditsafe has designed the service to be quick, simple and easy to use. Directors can access Creditsafe Fraud Alert via

Philip King, Chief Executive, Institute of Credit Management (ICM): “It is somewhat unfortunate that one of the fastest growing businesses around is fraud. And the problem is, it’s now seen as a business, a multi billion pound business, hence the rapid growth. With initiatives such as Fraud Alerts from Creditsafe, it is encouraging to see the finance industry fighting back with effective tools for those credit managers responsible for mitigating risk.”