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Fraudulent information that shows up on your credit report can prevent you from getting credit cards, a home mortgage, and even contribute to you losing out on a job. Victims of identity theft who act quickly to file a report gain valuable leverage to stop the fraudulent information from being recorded into your credit history.
Send a copy of an identity theft report and letter outlining specific fraudulent information to the consumer reporting companies. Use a return receipt request so you have a record of your information being delivered and received. Once you submit this information, they will provide assistance by blocking fraudulent information from appearing on your credit report. When your identity theft report is accepted, the consumer reporting agency has four business days to block the fraudulent information.
If a consumer reporting company informs an information provider that it has blocked fraudulent information in your credit report, the information provider may not continue to report that information. It also cannot hire a debt collector related to the fraudulent account or sell the debt to any other entity that would try to collect it.
Include in your letter: a copy of the credit report with fraudulent charges circled and referenced, and a copy of the law enforcement report filed regarding the identity theft. Identify theft claims should clearly state that you are a victim and that you are requesting the itemized list of charges to be blocked on your credit report.
For more information about blocking requests, along with a sample letter, visit the Federal Trade Commission website at www.ftc.gov.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|