Sunday, February 23, 2014

Identity Theft: Be Prepared for the Long Haul

Nearly a month after first detecting a potential identity theft when reviewing my credit reports, I’m frustrated by the lack of progress despite my efforts. A recent email from Experian, the credit bureau that seems to be the source of my problems, highlighted the company’s refusal to remove what I believe is the root cause record on my report. Just when I thought I was entering the final phase of cleaning up my credit report, I came to realize that I’m probably just getting through an early chapter in what will be a much longer story.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Identity Theft: Proof that Life is not Fair

I spent a weekend fuming over the fact that my credit reports from two bureaus showed a fraudulent collection from Dish Network and several personal information entries that listed names, addresses, and phone numbers on my report that were not mine. There were several possibilities for the entries: 1) The bureaus screwed up; 2) Someone fat-fingered my social security number when providing credit for Dish Network service; 3) Someone had fraudulently used my social security number. No matter how little control I had over the initial event, if I wanted clean credit reports, I knew that no one was going to help me out.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Identity Theft: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

“What is your identity?” It’s more than just an existential question, it’s a question that you need to ask yourself when addressing a potential identity theft situation. To be more precise, you have to ask yourself, “What is it that identifies you?” To begin the recovery process once you detect an identity theft, something that I discussed recently in relation to my own issue, you have to be able to provide documentation that assures everyone involved that you are who you say that you are. Perhaps even more important is the inverse, that you need to be able to show that you aren’t who you say you aren’t.