If you are the victim of someone using your name or social security number to open an account without your knowledge or consent, this article is for you. (If it was someone you know, be sure to read about that at end of this article.)
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), section 605B states that the credit bureaus are required to block any and all information from appearing on your credit report that is a result of identity theft or fraud.
The problem some people have had is that after they’ve written a letter to the bureaus instructing them to remove a certain collection account because it is not theirs, the bureaus (who don’t actually bother to investigate) send back a letter stating the account has been (so-called) verified and remains.
This, of course, is illegal and a violation of the law. They are not allowed to post negative information on your credit report that is false.
Steps to Take to Permanently Block Fraudulent Negative Accounts
In a nutshell, you first file a report with a government agency, such as your local police department that says you are the victim of ID theft.
Second, send a copy of the report with a letter to the credit bureaus demanding that, according to FCRA 605B, they must permanently block the account that you are not responsible for.
You can read the entire set of instructions here.
You can also get a letter template here.
Don’t Use 605B to Lie or Commit Your Own Fraud
It is illegal to file a police report that is false. It is illegal to claim you are a victim of identity theft if you are not. Only use 605B if you are truly a victim.
If Someone You Know Opened an Account in Your Name
I have been shocked and dismayed at the large number of people who have written me saying an ex-spouse, an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend, or a parent or an adult child has used their name and social security number to open a credit account.
It makes sense that the people closest to you have the easiest access to your personal information — especially family members. It’s heartbreaking when your son or daughter opens an account in your name and then doesn’t pay for the item so then it ruins your credit score.
Oftentimes, the victim tells me they are reticent to file a report, because it was a loved one who did the damage.
Listen, my friend: You do not give up your self-respect, your reputation, and your good name in the business and credit community for anyone! This is the same as if that person had broken into your bedroom at night and beat you up and broken your body. They have done the same to your finances.
Your credit score affects everything from the interest rate charged on credit cards to your auto insurance premiums. It is not okay for someone to violate your credit. No exceptions.
You must defend yourself and make this right! If you had a broken bone, you would go to the doctor and get it set and healed. Now you must go file a report and write to the credit bureau so your credit profile can be restored. You can use the easy letter template in the link above.
Please pass on this essential information to others who may be victims of identity theft. Thank you.