Just following up on Rach's thread regarding identity theft, the service she refers to, where lenders will make additional checks on any credit application made in your name, is operated by CIFAS http://www.cifas.org.uk. You can apply for Category 0 Protective Registration from CIFAS (the actual application can be made to Equifax) at a cost of about £ 12.
A couple of points to note, if you are seriously considering it:
Protective Registration can lead to (quite substantial) delays in getting any kind of credit approved, even say, increasing your overdraft by £ 100 with a bank you've been with for 16 years may take weeks. Most people don't realise how often a credit check can be run on them and for what services.
You also have to provide reasons to CIFAS as to why you want Protective Registration as well details of who else lives in your household.
Finally, entries made by CIFAS are usually kept on your record for 10 years. That's potentially 10 years of delays and extra checks against your name. The 10 year requirement is in the case of actual fraud but there isn't any seperate provision which requires CIFAS to remove Protective Registration from a name or account, even though it has been applied at the person's request.
Personally, I just settle for checking my credit report every 4 or 5 months. Not perfect (or cheap at £ 8 a time) but better for me than being turned down every time I use a credit card to buy an item over
I noticed the headlines tonight and thought I must read what its got to say.
A royalmail spokewoman quotes " the loss of mail is a rare occurance". Well it certainly isn't in Se1 as this thread shows. I have just discovered that a cheque from the Inland Revenue (Now that is a rare occurance!!) has gone missing in the post. Sent last October. I have yet to find out if it has been cashed. So this iss the second piece of mail that I know off that has gone missing since October.
A nice comparative study of the SE1 post delivery problems for Simon Hughes et. al:
I subscribe to a weekly Danish paper, sent out Thursday night:
Delivered on Saturdays when I lived in WC1
Delivered on Saturdays when I lived in N4
Currently delivered on Wednesdays and Thursdays in SE1 (i.e. 4-5 days late)
Delivered more than 2 weeks late in SE1 in November/December last year.
When I came home on Friday there was a catalogue on the floor
outside the lift for Number 45 with a Royal Mail postage paid stamp
on it. Flats 31 -60 are on the other side of the building and can't
be accessed from the 1 -30 side where I am. I looked up the
womans name in the telephone directory and rang her to let her
know the package was on the floor. She didn't seem too bothered.
The postman had obviously just chucked it in the nearest door.
And then I found I had received a letter for the person next door.
Personally I can't be bothered complaining as it only raises your
blood pressure and certainly won't improve the service.
I got one of those "we tried to deliver but you were out" cards last week The thing is I was sitting working (from home) and saw it come through my letter box (though it didn't register what it was until a little later). The next day when I mentioned this at the sorting office in Mandela Way the bloke just said, "Oh no not again, they're always doing that".
Now, he did apologise to me but in a kind of "I wish there was something we could do" kind of way. Then exactly the same thing happened a day later. I really don't get this though. The postman has to write some details on the card so what's so taxing about ringing my bell? It's not just being lazy is it?
And again today I find that two very important letters due friday are still out there somewhere.
Reading the South London Press article, it seems clear that the language being used to describe our situation can be 'downgraded' to that of 'inconvenience' rather than the actual fact - that many of us have faced downright theft, fraud etc etc.
I am sure we need to carry on highlighting the examples of identity and property (parcels, money, credit cards) theft that have come through on this list.
It strikes me that another way to do this, as well as reporting it on this thread, is to report your own missing items to the police, each time it happens.
If we all do this, there will have to be a police visit to/enquiry at the sorting office just to try to save police time in terms of filing reports. This might very well help our cause, seeing as we seem to be dealing with a criminal element in the case of the identity theft, stolen cheques, birth certificates, credit cards etc etc.
I think that if this becomes a police issue as well, it could help angle the discussions at the political level so that the issue is less 'minor' (inconvenience to be explained away by discussions of cutbacks or the moans of posties who can't access flats) and more of the 'major' issue we have seen on this list (ridding the SE1 area of some kind of criminal gang who seem to be operating within the postal system.)
I know the occasional letter gets mis-delivered, but on Saturday, every single item that came through my letter box was clearly addressed for DIFFERENT houses in the street, not mine. All the numbers along here are prominently marked - it ain't difficult. I've re-distributed the letters to their rightful destinations.....I wonder who got my post?