Why is it so hard for victims of ID theft to get fraudulent debts discharged?
and what can you do about it?



In a White Paper entitled "The Top 5 On-Line Identity Theft Attacks," Amichal Schulman, Co-founder, CTO of Imperva, Inc. says. . . . internet connected applications have played a central role in the growth of identity theft international crime organizations, exploiting vulnerabilities in ecommerce, banking, healthcare, and human resource applications, have found that they can access back-end databases containing identity information. Then, the Internet provides them with a relatively anonymous medium to open new accounts and credit instruments, cell phone accounts, bank accounts, credit cards, auto loans, and short-term bank loans that can all be approved online without any requirement for physical proof-of-identity.


The crimes and the costs are adding up, but it's becoming increasing difficult for victims to discharge these fraudulent debts. Why? It would seem that the "other" victim of the fraud is also fighting back. The "other" victim? The creditor, the bank, the credit card company, the commercial enterprise the thief ripped off in the first place. Unless somebody pays them, they will have to bear the loss themselves.

So it won't be easy, but the victim must gain the creditor's good will, must convince them that they are an innocent victim of a thief who has defrauded them both, and must prevail upon the creditor to accept the loss.

Victims, however, have competition for the good will of the creditor.

Creditors have another kind of perpetrator attempting to defraud them: the actual customer pretending to be a victim. The buyer who actually ran up the bills, got the goods, and now claims they were completely innocent, the victim of an identity thief.

Two ways that real victims of ID theft and fraud should use to persuade creditors to discharge the fraudulent debts against them. And one to try if nothing else works.

1) At the outset, creditors have no way of knowing if you are truly a victim or a customer out to defraud them. You have to help them make that determination. How? Proof. Make your proof substantial, enough to convince the creditor that you are the victim of someone else's fraud and that, if they took their case against you to court, they would lose. Carefully listen when the creditor tells you what documentation they had in order to open the account because those things are what you will have to counteract and refute.

2) When you approach them, understand that they prefer not to become the "other" victim. Clearly, you are not to blame for this problem and it is not your fault, but that's not the point here. The point is that you need their help and cooperation but they already view you as an adversary. You simply cannot afford to alienate them further. If they choose to, they can throw rocks in your path every step of the way. So talk to them. Call them and ask for their help. Ask them what it is that THEY need from you. Approach them in a calm, unemotional, business-like manner. But don't bury them in form letters and correspondence. Above all, don't throw demands at them, or legalese. And, if they DO let you off the hook, don't expect them to write confirmation letters; do that yourself. In short, do everything you can to take the burden off of them. Make it easy for them to be helpful to you.

60 Minutes' 2013 UPDATE on the 3 big Credit Reporting Companies:

According to 60 Minutes report "40 Million Mistakes" of August 25, 2013 Credit Reporting Agencies are not providing you with the same credit report they are providing to buyers. Neither are they investigating mistakes on your credit report nor correcting errors as required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Although you are provided with a website form to fill out, the corrections are not made. The report indicated that errors are reduced to a code number, returned to the creditor and evidently die there.

The advice given in one of the comments is to file suit in small claims court to force the creditor to remove fraudulent charges from your credit report. Not too expensive and it worked for them! Obviously they had the name and address of the creditor.

The creditors' name may not even show up on the report you are given. Their name and address is supposed to be provided to you by the Agency when you ask for an investigation, but current claims are that they are neither investigating nor providing any information.

If possible try to get the information you need from the person or company that refused you credit: card, rental, finance, utility, loan, insurance, etc. I suggest you approach them with a copy of YOUR credit report in hand. If their report shows something different, it's obvious something is very wrong here. If they still refuse to give you any information because of the privacy laws (and it's YOUR privacy they're supposedly protecting) contact your attorney for help/advice. Or, if you have a friend who regularly buys credit reports, ask if they can/will buy one of yours.


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