policeman_cartoonWhat can I do if I am a victim of identity theft?

You apply for a credit card and are turned down because of a low credit score, yet you know that you’ve always paid your accounts on time.

A debt collector calls to demand payment on a six-month overdue account for a credit card you have never had.

You receive a credit card in the mail that you’ve never applied for.

What’s happening? You could be the victim of identity theft, where an imposter is using your personal information to obtain credit. Then when the thief does not pay the bills, the company itself or a debt collection company contacts you to demand payment. As a result, your credit report is likely to contain negative information about your bill-payment history, and your credit score has probably been lowered considerably, making it difficult or impossible to obtain new credit yourself.

Victims of identity theft must act quickly and assertively to minimize the damage.

Here are a few things you can do.

1.  Notify credit bureaus and establish fraud alerts. 2.  Monitor your credit reports. 3.  You may want to place a security freeze on your crdeit reports. 4.  You may want to notify law enforcement. 5.  You may want to notify the Federal Trade Commission.

What to do with new credit accounts opened by the imposter. 1.  Contact the creditors immediately by telephone and in writing. 2.  Prevent businesses from reporting fraudulent accounts to the credit bureaus. 3.  Fill out fraud affidavits. 4.  Ask for a letter stating that the disputed account has been discharged.

You may need some assistance it correcting the effects of identity fraud. HOPE educates and assists our clients in remedying the effects of identity fraud. If you would like to know more please call us at 704-503-3669. We are waiting for your call.

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