Credit reporting fraud is a rapidly growing problem in the United States as identity theft becomes more and more prevalent. Unwitting people who have paid their credit card bills on time for years have their identities stolen and become the victims of credit reporting fraud when they are reporting for not paying off credit card bills they did not even know about.
When an identity thief steals an individual’s name, address and Social Security Number, one of the first things nearly all of them do is open a number of credit card accounts in the person’s name. They run up large credit card bills in a short period of time, then leave the real person saddled with the credit card debt. When they don’t pay off the bills--because they do not know about them and didn’t make the purchases to begin with--they are reported to the credit agencies and become victims of credit reporting fraud.
If someone is a victim of credit reporting fraud, they should contact both the credit card companies and the reporting bureaus immediately. The fraudulent accounts should be shut down at once and the negative statements put on the credit reports due to the credit reporting fraud protested. In order to strengthen their case, the consumer should report the criminal activity to the police, who will take a police report and make copies of it available to the identity theft victim. The consumer should send copies of that report to the credit card companies and the credit bureaus as part of their effort to have the credit reporting fraud erased.
The process of defeating credit reporting fraud will likely not be a short one, as both credit card companies and credit bureaus can be slow and stubborn when it comes to removing inaccurate information. The consumer should be prepared to constantly fight to have the credit reporting fraud changed and removed from their histories. In some cases, legal assistance may be required to have the credit reporting fraud eliminated from their records, which could be costly and painful.