Tag Archives: Identity Theft

Five Key Rights For Identity Theft Victims

If you are the victim of identity theft in Herndon, Virginia, you have five important rights afforded to you by the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  15 U.S.C. 1681g(d) states that identity theft victims have the following rights:

1.  The right to  place a fraud alert on their credit file.

As of the time of this post, the credit reporting agency fraud alert phone numbers were:

Experian fraud alert phone number (888) 397-3742

Equifax fraud alert phone number   (800) 525-6285

TransUnion fraud alert phone number (800) 680-7289

Remember an initial fraud alert stays on your credit file for 90 days and that you may request an extended fraud alert if you provide a valid identity theft report.

 2.    The right to receive free copies of their credit file.

The initial fraud alert  affords the consumer the chance to obtain a free copy of their credit file.  Consumers should review these copies to determine if the file has any items indicating identity theft including unauthorized accounts, unknown credit inquiries, or inaccurate address information.

3. The right to copies of documents relating to fraudulent transactions.

If a thief has used your personal information to open accounts, a creditor or other business must give you copies of applications and business records involving transactions related to the theft, provided that you ask them in writing.

4. The right to obtain information from a debt collector.

You can stop debt collectors when they improperly collect debts relating to inaccurate credit reporting or identity theft by requesting that the debt collector provide you with information related to the name of the original creditor and the debt.

5. The right to request that a credit reporting agency block identity theft information.

In order to invoke the identity theft blocking provisions under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you should identify the information to be blocked, state that you did not incur or authorize the charges, provide proof of your identity, and provide a copy of an identity theft police report.

Please review my previous post for more information about remedying identity  theft in Herndon as well as the FTC’s website.  If you need to speak to a credit report lawyer about an identity theft or inaccurate credit reports, please contact me at my Reston office, 703-390-9205.


Initial Fraud Alerts For Identity Theft Victims

If you have a credit report error  or potential identity theft problem in Herndon, Virginia, I would be happy to discuss your situation via the telephone at 703-390-9205.  My law office has handled numerous cases involving credit report mistakes and identity theft, and we are willing to discuss your particular problem.

Sometimes consumers need assistance outside of regular office hours when identity theft is suspected.  In fact, CNN has reported that another American is victimized by identity theft every two seconds, which is shocking. If you feel that you may have been a victim of identity theft, a good first step is to place an initial fraud alert on your credit file because an initial fraud alert should slow down an identity thief’s actions in establishing more credit in your name.

15 U.S.C. 1681 c-1(a)(1) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act was established to help consumers stop the identity thief.  This provision provides that a consumer may request an initial fraud alert provided a good faith suspicion exists that the consumer may have been an identity theft victim.  The initial fraud alert is designed to be a “one-call” alert with all three major credit reporting agencies placing the initial fraud alert on a consumer’s credit file as long as any one of the three credit reporting agencies are notified by a consumer. Once the consumer notes the initial fraud alert, 15 U.S.C. 1681 c-1(h)(1)(B)(i), provides that a user extending credit should “utilize reasonable policies and procedures to form a reasonable belief that the user knows the identity of the person making the request.”

If you need the fraud alert phone numbers for Experian, TransUnion, and Experian, please see my previous post on what you can do if you may have been a victim of identity theft , or simply call me at my office in Reston, Virginia to discuss your credit report error or identity theft.




3 Notices From The IRS Indicating An Identity Theft Problem

Identity theft involving IRS tax returns has become an ever increasing problem over the last four years. According to Treasury Department reports, more than five billion dollars in improper refund checks may have been issued to identity thieves in 2011 alone.  If you have an IRS identity theft problem, the agency has established a procedure to assist victims on the identity theft page of the IRS website. As identified on the IRS website, three types of IRS notices can indicate that you may have an identity theft problem with the IRS. The three notices or letters indicating a problem are:

  1. You filed more than one return.
  2. You have a balance due, refund offset, or collection action for a year that you did not file a return.
  3. You received wages from an employer that you do not recognize.

If you receive any of these notices and think that you may be a victim of identity theft, the IRS requests that you take immediate action via an IRS identity theft affidavit.  The details regarding how to complete the affidavit and more information about the process can be found on the IRS website.

If I believed that I had an IRS identity theft problem, after notifying the IRS,  I would also immediately obtain a copy of all three of my credit reports from the credit reporting agencies and look for the signs indicating an identity theft problem on my credit file. If you think that you have been the victim of identity theft, you can review my previous post on the actions that you can take to combat your identity theft problem including links to assist you with identity theft reporting in Virginia.  if you have any questions about how to review your file, I have also discussed how to review your credit file disclosure . For additional questions about identity theft or inaccurate credit reports, you can always contact me at 703-390-9205.


The Four Things You Must Provide To Invoke Your Identity Theft Blocking Rights.

Unfortunately, when I meet with identity theft victims in my Reston, Virginia office, most do not understand the necessary steps that they must take to recover from the problems associated with identity theft.  A previous blog post discussed what you should do if you are the victim of identity theft which included police contact information so that identity theft victims in Richmond, Henrico, Stafford, Prince William, Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington, or Alexandria may obtain identity theft police reports. This post will describe the protections that identity theft victims have under the FCRA’s identity theft blocking statute, 15 U.S.C. 1681c-2.

The identity theft blocking statute is a mechanism that allows identity theft victims to block identity theft related accounts from reporting on their credit report.  By invoking the block, the victim can begin the process of recovering their good credit history.  To invoke the block, the FCRA requires that the identity theft victim provide four things to a consumer reporting agency:

  1. appropriate proof of identity;
  2. a copy of the identity theft report;
  3. identification of the accounts related to the identity theft; and
  4. a statement from the consumer that the accounts are not related to any transaction by the consumer.

If a consumer provides this information, the CRA must block the identified information within four business days. Next, the CRA has to notify the creditors of the block including the dates that the block will remain in effect. Because various exceptions to the requirements exist in the statute, an identity theft victim would be wise to consult with a lawyer that specializes in identity theft issues.  I am always happy to speak with identity theft victims at 703-390-9205.