I think my eyes have trained themeslves to ignore banner adverts. Any animated oblong bar is ignored. It is as if I have a blind spot. It was therefore quite improbable that I noticed (only just, mind) the advert on FaceBook for a free credit report, courtesy of Would you beleive it was via F that I discovered the Credit Expert website.
Some banner adverts do yield useful information, it seems. I was surprised to discover the amount of information that a company can gather on you if it wishes. They do need a fair amount of information from you – date of birth, name and address, which more than I would normally give to a website for any other kind of service – but it is still surprising how much information those standard details will yeild. The exact amount of my mortgage and monthly payment is in there, as is (amusingly) a store card which I signed up for a few years ago, and forgot I even had.
Quite interesting, was the presence of The Camelot Group, who run the National Lottery, on the list of people who have seen part of the report. I signed up to their site a few months ago in order to buy a lucky dip ticket worth £1. I was indignant that they should see this as an excuse to ruffle through my records… but I suppose gambling sites are a prime place to launder money. I could load up my account with thousands of pounds of drug money, then deposit it back into a different account as ‘winnings’.
Most satisfying, however, is the fact that the credit report missed off an entire bank account in my name that I used in my student days. If ever I am on the run from the cops, perhaps for refusing to carry an ID card, or perhaps for laundering money through the lottery website, then I’ll know which account to use as a springboard for my series of Robin Hood style adventures.