My identity was stolen. Now I can’t remortgage

When Rosie Drayton’s identity was stolen, she didn’t realise the impact it would have on her life

By Tim Gibson

Rosie Drayton is worried. She’s in the process of remortgaging, which is stressful at the best of times. But for Rosie it just got a whole lot worse.

    “It’s not a nice feeling to know that someone has got hold of your personal information and is using it to commit fraud,”...  

Last week, Rosie received a package through the post. It was from Nationwide Building Society. The delivery was a card reader to enable online access to her new account.

Trouble is, Rosie has never banked with Nationwide, and hadn’t set up a new account. Someone stole her identity and did it in her name.

Rosie rang Nationwide immediately and put a stop on the account. Fortunately, the fraudsters were yet to spend any money, and Nationwide agreed to upgrade the security on new applications in her name for extra peace of mind.

Even so, Rosie is worried. “It’s not a nice feeling to know that someone has got hold of your personal information and is using it to commit fraud,” she says. “It turns out that you only need a person’s full name, date of birth and address to apply for a range of banking products, including credit cards. That’s a pretty low bar for criminals to reach.”

The bar is especially low if, as Rosie suspects, the criminals have intercepted their victim’s mail in order to harvest the information they require.

“My mail box has been tampered with, and one day a neighbour found some of my post on the street outside our block of flats,” she reports. “I think the fraudsters stole my mail, noted my personal details, and used them to open various accounts.”

That’s right: “various accounts.” Because no sooner had Rosie got to the bottom of the Nationwide fraud than she discovered new accounts in her name with banks such as Sainsbury’s, HSBC and Santander.

Worse still, the criminals had been on a spending spree, racking up thousands of pounds of debt.

“I’ve been assured by the banks that the debt will be refunded,” says Rosie, “but there’s been a really damaging short-term impact on my credit score. This is especially bad news, because it’s meant my mortgage application has been delayed.”

The banks have advised Rosie that her remortgage will proceed once the debts are wiped off. But her concern is that interest rates will rise in the meantime, or that she’ll miss out on the best deals because her application can’t be processed right now.

“I feel like I’m in limbo, and it’s especially galling because the fraudsters are getting away scot-free while my life is in chaos. The police told me that identity theft is not a crime in itself, and that fraud arising from it is hard to prosecute. But it’s not a victimless crime, as I’ve found out to my cost.”

Rosie says the experience has left her feeling angry and confused. “I’ve complained to all the banks and expect financial compensation. Nationwide has already given me a modest amount, but I’ve discovered a further fraud with them so I’ll be asking for more.

“I’m also worried about my remortgage application. I’ll be so upset if we miss out on a lower rate for the coming years because of the actions of these criminals, who don’t care about the people they hurt along the way.”

Note: Rosie’s identity has been disguised. Obviously.

Avoid ID theft: three steps

1) Make sure your post is secure. Rosie thinks thieves took her mail to harvest her details. Make sure yours is delivered to a secure mailbox or through your door. Always remove names and addresses from envelopes before you throw them away.

2) Keep a close eye on your banking. If you spot any irregular spending on your current accounts or credit cards, you should call your bank immediately. They can put a stop on the account while investigating a potential fraud, meaning you don’t accrue a load of debt in the meantime.

3) Always opt for heightened security. If your bank offers the option of advanced security, such as 3D Secure authentication, take it. Anything you can do to protect your data, especially online, is well worth the additional hassle.

Published: 9 August 2019

© 2019 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: The tech time bomb that could floor your business

You may also enjoy: Feeling stressed? Try this technique to help you unwind

Jobs currently available

New job
Electrical Wireman
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910175
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Electrical Wire person on behalf of a company based in Braintree, Essex.

The role will involve mechanical and electrical assembly, wire and electrically test distribution and MCCB boards, cabinets and cable harnesses. The role also has the potential for new product development by building prototype boards and testing boards before product launch.


  • Build and test distribution and MCCB panels to the standards specified by the latest electrical regulations: BS EN 61439 and BS7671 including energy metering and surge suppression devices.
  • Read, understand and work from technical electrical CAD drawings and wiring diagrams.
  • To pick and check all component quantity and quality before each job.
  • To build and assemble wiring loom kits using a variety of cable crimp hand tools.
  • Electrical testing, fault finding and resolution.
  • Production of Test Certificates.
  • To work using own initiative with limited supervision.
  • Maintain manufacturing records including: copy test certification, wiring diagrams, layout drawings and production sheets.


  • Previous strong experience in Low Voltage panel building environment.
  • Knowledge of metering requirements and installation.
  • Attention to detail.
  • Flash Testing Certified.
Read more
Graphic Designer
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910168
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Graphic Designer on behalf of a company based in Colchester, Essex.

They are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled Graphic Designer to join their team.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an exciting company as they rapidly expand nationwide.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and producing marketing material for nine businesses across the UK
  • Each business has their own distinct brand identity, so you must be willing to adapt as the situation demands
  • Manage the production of their 300 page brochure
  • Design other promotional material; for example posters and flyers; for use in their sites
  • Liaising with 3rd parties to design and produce physical promotional materials
  • Negotiating prices
  • Experience with website design is preferable
  • Experience with running business social media accounts also preferable

Experience in a similar role or relevant qualification is a must for this opportunity

  • Relevant extensive experience in design programs - for example, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver - is required
Read more
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Chelmsford, South Woodham Ferrers
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910167
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Designer on behalf of a company based near South Woodham Ferrers.

This is a fantastic opportunity if you have a Product Design background and can offer Retail or POS Design experience.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Create new products, including 3D designs, prototyping and testing
  • Execute robust design process and continuous improvement
  • Take client brief either from Account Manager or Client
  • Time management and planning workload with Head of Design
  • A ‘can do’ attitude


  • Excellent level of knowledge using SolidWorks
  • Good level of knowledge using Adobe Suite
  • Experience with the POS sector would be advantageous
  • Product Design degree would be preferred
  • Good problems solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good Word & Excel skills
Read more
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: £16,500 - £17,000 per annum
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910164
About the role

Just Recruitment is working with one of Suffolk’s most promising mortgage companies. Established in 2014, this company is looking to take on a skilled Administrator to support its rapid expansion.

Your duties will include:

  • Supporting the mortgage brokers in their day-to-day activities
  • Electronic Filing and record-keeping
  • Checking and submitting mortgage applications
  • Progressing cases
  • Speaking to members of the public, both in-person and over the phone

Ideally, you will:

  • Have experience in an administrative role
  • Possess an excellent telephone manner
  • Be diligent and detail-oriented
  • Be highly computer literate, including familiarity with Microsoft Packages
  • Have a great sense of humour

Working hours:

35 per week – Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm, with an hour off for lunch

Read more
Warehouse Operator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910163
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Warehouse Operative on behalf of a company based in Sudbury Suffolk.

Your daily duties will include:

  • Ensuring that the warehouse is kept tidy and organised
  • Unloading and checking of deliveries in
  • Checking in goods
  • Putting away products within the warehouse
  • Picking products as per customer orders
  • Checking orders, ensuring accuracy
  • Packing orders to ensure safety in delivery
  • Loading deliveries
  • On occasions take responsibility for the locking up procedure for the Warehouse/Site

Working hours:

Split shifts: 6.00am – 2.30pm / 2.00pm – 10.30pm

You will have the following skills and experience:

  • Suitable applicants will ideally have current Forklift licences for Counterbalance, Pallet Truck and Flexi
  • Good level of Numeracy and Literacy
  • Intermediate PC skills
  • Preferred NVQ Level 2 Warehousing or equivalent
  • Prior knowledge of Warehouse Management Systems
Read more