Protect Your Financial Reputation and Understand Identity Theft and Credit Damage

Protect Your Financial Reputation and Understand Identity Theft and Credit Damage

Has your credit report fallen victim to fraud or identity theft in the past two years? If you’ve noticed inaccurate entries or unauthorized accounts on your credit reports, it’s critical to take action now to clear your good name. 

What is a Credit Report?

Your credit report is not just a financial record; it’s your reputation, impacting major life decisions like buying a home, obtaining a car, securing insurance, landing employment, or renting housing. In America, identity theft ranks among the most common crimes, with fraudsters opening accounts or applying for credit offers using another person’s personal information.

The aftermath of identity theft can be devastating. When fraudsters neglect to settle bills on unauthorized accounts, the repercussions echo through credit reporting agencies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Late payments or accounts sent to collections inflict credit injuries on the innocent consumer whose information was exploited by the identity thief.  Unfortunately, credit reporting agencies may refuse to rectify inaccurate information, even if it results from fraud, and the false information may remain on the identity theft victims’ credit reports.

Protect Your Legal Rights: Free Resources and Legal Remedies

If you’ve suffered credit damage due to a creditor or credit bureau’s refusal to correct fraudulent information, you may be entitled to monetary damages under the Fair Credit Reporting ACT (FCRA). The FCRA is a federal consumer protection statute that protects consumers, especially identity theft victims. Your FCRA rights extend to demanding the removal of inaccurate credit reporting accounts and inquiries that do not belonging to you and that are the result of fraud. 

Identity theft victims often experience damage to their credit, affecting eligibility for home purchases or other credit applications, such as auto loans or credit cards. A lower credit score could lead to higher interest rates on mortgages and loans, potentially costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. Or a low credit score could result in a denial of credit. 

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) mandates credit reporting agencies to investigate and delete inaccurate information upon receipt of a consumer’s dispute. However, this investigation process may not always result in the deletion of inaccurate information, making it challenging for consumers to remove fraudulent information from Experian, Equifax, or Trans Union credit reports.

How to Identify if You are a Victim of Fraud

To determine if your credit report includes information due to identity theft, look for these red flags:

1. Inaccurate or false information on your credit or background report.

2. Receiving credit card applications in someone else’s name.

3. Statements, bills, or debt collection letters for unknown accounts.

4. An unexpectedly low credit score or denial when applying for credit or a loan.

5. Denial of housing due to false information on your background report.

If you qualify for a free case review, you may be eligible for a comprehensive analysis of your credit report to assess damages caused by fraud or identity theft.

Understanding Credit Reports and Their Vulnerability to Identity Theft

Credit reports, housing credit scores, are pivotal tools used by companies for credit approval, employment decisions, and rental applications. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, the three major credit reporting agencies, compile information from creditors like banks and mortgage companies. Unfortunately, these agencies don’t verify the accuracy of the information before inclusion, potentially resulting in inaccuracies impacting a consumer’s financial life.

The Growing Threat of Identity Theft

The surge in identity theft and fraud cases is alarming, with over 5 million reported cases in 2020 alone. The majority of complaints in 2022 relate to credit score concerns. Fraudsters pilfer personal information to open accounts, neglecting bill payments and causing significant credit damage.

Spotting and Stopping Fraud Impacting Your Credit Score

To mitigate the impact of fraud on your credit score, experts recommend obtaining and reviewing your free annual credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Check for signs of identity theft, especially before major purchases like a car or home, to avoid unpleasant surprises when creditors assess your credit report.

Watch out for these signs indicating potential fraud affecting your credit score:

1. Unknown names, addresses, or unexpected accounts on your credit report.

2. Mail addressed to you but listing someone else’s name, including credit card offers or debt collection letters.

3. Unexplained credit pulls or inquiries by businesses you haven’t contacted.

4. Statements or bills for accounts you didn’t open.

Consumers spotting fraudulent accounts or inaccuracies in their credit reports should dispute them with credit reporting agencies. Dispute letters should provide comprehensive information about the disputed record, reasons for its inaccuracy, and supporting documentation. Qualified attorneys can assist in this process, ensuring proper procedures under the FCRA are followed.

Identity theft victims struggling to prove fraudulent accounts may consider legal assistance. It’s crucial to remember that if an account is genuinely fraudulent, no creditor or debt collector can force you to pay the balance.

Click HERE to report identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission.

Participate in an Identity Theft Credit Damage Lawsuit Investigation

Disputing fraudulent accounts with credit reporting agencies might not suffice to rectify credit report inaccuracies caused by identity theft. Consumers who’ve faced challenges reporting identity theft or fraud within the last two years to credit reporting agencies or lenders may be eligible to take legal action.If your credit report has suffered due to fraud or identity theft in the last two years, participate in an identity theft credit damage lawsuit investigation. Contact us to determine if you qualify for a FREE case evaluation.

Get Help from an Experienced ID Theft Attorney to Help Clear Your Name

The Adkins Firm represents identity theft victims in the DFW metro area who have errors on credit, employment background and tenant screening reports. We help our clients clear their names. Do you have errors on a credit report, background report or tenant screening report due to fraud?  Have you disputed the error and the fraudulent information was verified that it belongs to you? If you answered yes, then you may have a claim under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Please note, there is a statute of limitations that may bar you from recovering for your damages. Don’t wait.  Contact us for a free case review at (214) 974-4030.