ID THEFT NEWS: WEEKLY UPDATE

Over 12 million consumers a year become victims of identity theft. Click HERE to download the FTC’s 2012 report on top consumer complaints.  Consumers often learn they are a fraud victim after receiving a credit denial or call from a debt collector for a debt they do not owe.  Identity theft victims also get turned down for jobs because of arrests, convictions or other public records in a background report.  If they get approved for credit, then they have to pay higher interest rates. 

What can consumers do to protect their credit reports and their reputation?  Federal law provides identity theft victims with rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) 15 U.S.C. §§1681, et seq. Under the FCRA, identity theft victims have the right to request two (2) free credit reports every 12 months. Also, identity theft victims can place a fraud alert (90 day and extended 7 year) on their credit file.  

Identity theft victims have the right to dispute credit report errors due to fraud, such as accounts, name variations, public records and addresses.  The credit reporting agencies must conduct a reasonable “reinvestigation” of the information disputed by the consumer.  The credit reporting agencies must block in 4 business days fraudulent information that appears in a credit report after they receive an identity theft report.  If the credit reporting agencies break these rules, then consumers have the right to sue them in federal court for actual and statutory damages, plus attorneys’ fees.

Download the free identity theft affidavit HERE.

Micah Adkins represents victims of identity theft across the country.  Here are some of the identity theft stories I am following in and across the nation.

ALABAMA

Birmingham, Alabama – Drug bust also reveals ID theft operation WBRC

Jefferson County deputies raided two homes and walked away with lots of cash, guns and drugs. They not only found heroin, coke and marijuana, but they also uncovered an identity theft operation. Two people were arrested in this case.

Tuscaloosa, – Not all online identity theft is illegal in Alabama WBRC Tuscaloosa Sheriff Ted Sexton is just the latest, well-known victim of a fake Facebook account, but the incident highlights a sobering lesson: anyone can be a victim. In Alabama, some forms of theft aren’t even illegal. In many cases, people copy and …

ARKANSAS

Little Rock, Arkansas – Money Matters: Advice for Identity Theft Victims KARK Because others have also fallen victim to this identity theft scheme, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to let Arkansans know the steps they need to take in the event they have their identity stolen. “Technological …

FLORIDA

Miami – Five suspects in ID-theft ring jailed in Broward Sun-Sentinel A ring of five identity thieves who stole and negotiated the sale of more than 6,000 victims’ personal information is now behind bars, authorities said Wednesday. With the help of a confidential informant, the Broward Sheriff’s Office in December began …

Miami – Hospital Identity Theft Found at Some South Florida Hospitals NBC 6 South Florida The south Miami case is the latest hospital ID theft to surface in South Florida. Since 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services has received reports that hundreds of thousands of patients have been affected by breaches at hospitals across …

MiamiBroward man sentenced in $1.5 million identity theft case Sun-Sentinel David Forbes, 43, had earlier pleaded guilty to five counts of theft of government money. He admitted working with a woman who stole identities and submitted tax returns — without the victims’ or survivors’ knowledge — on behalf of five people. The …

GEORGIA

Atlanta – Ch. 2’s Mark Arum among ID-theft operation victims WSB Atlanta Police say they have uncovered a stash of Social Security numbers and personal documents that could be at the core of a huge identity-theft operation. Authorities said the man used the data to steal the identity of Channel 2 traffic reporter Mark Arum …

AtlantaVigilance keeps you on top of identity theft Atlanta Journal Constitution Since August 2009, I’ve kept a diary that’s not a pleasant read. It brings back memories of a personal nature that is about me, certainly, contains secret PIN numbers, and the history of what happens after someone steals your identity. When your Social …

SOUTH CAROLINA

Greenville, South Carolina – ID theft bill would allow tax deduction for protection services Greenville News 10 years of free credit monitoring in bill: Sen. Kevin Bryant of Anderson, one of the sponsors of an identity theft protection bill before Senators, says the bill would seek a contract to provide 10 years of free credit monitoring for victims of last …

Hilton head, SC – Bluffton chamber helps businesses avoid identity theft Hilton Head Island Packet Stidman, a former law enforcement officer who now works for Coastal Security Services on Hilton Head Island, offered tips Monday on how a business can protect itself from identity theft, during a program hosted by the Greater Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.

TEXAS

Tyler – Texas ranked seventh in identity theft cases Tyler Morning Telegraph “To avoid falling victim to identity theft, prevention is key,” said Mechele Agbayani Mills, president and chief executive officer of BBB Serving Central East Texas, in a prepared statement. “While there’s no absolute guarantee, shredding sensitive …

NATIONAL NEWS

Identity theft and the IRS, or, Who got my refund? Reuters The agency has stepped up its prosecutions. In the first four months of fiscal 2013 (October 1, 2012, through January 31, 2013), the IRS opened 542 investigations of possible cases of tax-related identity theft, as compared to 898 for all of fiscal …

Mass. Man Arraigned In Alleged Identity Theft Scam WBUR BOSTON — A Boston man has pleaded not guilty in what prosecutors say was an extensive scheme to use fake credit cards and identities to buy smartphones and high-end electronics for resale. Thirty-six-year-old Shahab “David” Yousheei was arraigned …

Consumers ‘prime targets’ for ID theft StandardNet For the fifth consecutive year, identity theft is at the top of the Federal Trade Commission’s list of consumer complaints. With more than 2 million complaints lodged nationwide in 2012, including 369,132 related to identity theft, national and local …

Have you been a victim of identity theft? Do you have credit report errors? Have you disputed the credit report errors?  Did the credit bureaus “verify” fraudulent information on your credit report and refuse to delete the incorrect information from your credit reports?

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), consumers have the right to dispute credit report errors. The credit reporting agencies must block information from appearing in your credit report that is the result of identity theft. The credit bureaus must block the information within 4 business days of receipt of an identity theft report. Federal law gives you the right to sue the credit bureaus if they fail to perform a reasonable investigation or refuse to investigate your credit report disputes. 

Contact us for a free case review 24/7 at 1-800-263-9091 and ask for a free sample credit report dispute letter.

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