Arrests have been made in an Atlanta, Georgia identity theft ring that may have stolen the identities of over 8,000 victims.  Police arrested Robert Smith, 46, of Atlanta, and Robert A. Hill, 49, of Roswell, Georgia.  Both men are accused of fraudulently using credit cards to obtain electronics and other goods and then resold them on the Internet. Authorities also seized a car, motorcycle and almost $100,000 in cash.

The identity theft ring is believed to have stolen over $9 million in goods from BestBuy, Home Depot, Lowes, Sam’s Club, Target and Wal-Mart.  Authorities began to investigate the fraud ring after a Cherokee, Georgia resident complained of unauthorized credit cards were opened in his name.

Consumers often do not learn about fraudulent accounts until they check their credit reports.  Under federal law, consumers have the right to receive one free credit report every twelve months.  Some states allow consumers to request a free credit report under state law – this right is in addition to the right to a free annual credit report!

I recommend to my clients that they check their credit reports regularly and make the request by mail.  Unauthorized accounts can be a red flag for identity theft.  When you find fraudulent accounts on your Equifax, Experian or Trans Union credit report, you should dispute the incorrect information, in writing, to all three credit reporting agencies.  Click HERE to download a free sample dispute letter.  For more information about your right to request a free credit report, contact us by email or call us 24/7 at 1-800-263-9091.