Identity Theft

Identity Theft Leads to Federal Lawsuit Against Citibank & Experian

Identity Theft Leads to Federal Lawsuit Against Citibank & Experian

The dispute process is critical to ensuring the accuracy of credit reporting, and to protecting the rights of the millions of consumers whose livelihoods, housing, insurance and access to credit depend on accurate reporting. 

Identity theft has led to a federal lawsuit being filed against Citibank North America, Inc. (Citibank) and Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (Experian). Both Citibank and Experian are being sued for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) because they reported fraudulent information (among other things) after it was disputed.

The case involves the plaintiff’s identity being stolen by a relative. The thief used plaintiffs identity to open two credit card accounts with Citibank.

There has been more data breaches than days in 2016

There has been more data breaches than days in 2016

A data breach occurs when protected information is exposed to an unauthorized source. Since the beginning of 2016, one hundred and thirty-nine (139) data breaches have taken place in the U.S. These data breaches subjected at least 4,294,005 records to identity theft.

No country or entity is immune to data breaches; even ISIS. An article published on March 10 reports that an ISIS data breach disclosed the names, hometowns, blood types, and other personal information about 22,000 members. In the wrong hands, this kind of sensitive information could be deadly.

Is your child's identity safe?

Is your child's identity safe?

Hundreds of millions of identities are exposed to identity theft each year. In a recent study, it was found that: "10.2% of children had someone else using their Social Security number. This is 51 times higher than the 0.2% rate for adults".  A child's Social Security number was used more often than an adults for a variety of reasons. A child's Social Security number is very enticing to thieves because it is unused and can be paired with any name and birth date. In addition, a child's identity can be used for years before being detected.

To know if your child has been a victim of identity theft, check to see if your child has a credit report. It is important to check all three of the credit reporting agencies as the reports are not identical.

Who is allowed to pull your credit report?

Who is allowed to pull your credit report?

Not just anyone can pull your credit report. The Fair Credit Reporting Act, the federal law which governs credit reporting, allows credit reporting agencies to generate your credit report under the following circumstance and no other: 

  • by written request from you or a guardian
  • by court order
  • by request from a state or local child support enforcement agency
  • by request of others who intend to use your credit report:
    • to extend credit (including landlords and utilities)
    • to collect debt (debt collectors)
    • for employment purposes
    • for insurance underwriting purposes
    • to determine eligibility for a license or government benefits
    • to determine if you meet the terms of an account
    • for business transactions

FTC announces substantial update to IdentityTheft.gov

FTC announces substantial update to IdentityTheft.gov

The Federal Trade Commission announced a significant update to the one-stop website, IdentityTheft.gov. The update comes as a response to President Obama's 2014 executive order directing federal agencies to create a consolidated site to aid consumers. 

IdentityTheft.gov now guides consumers through filing a complaint with the FTC and then provides a personalized recovery plan designed to address the specific identity theft complaint at hand.

Identity Theft

Federal Law Aids Consumers in Fixing Credit Reports Due to Identity Theft

When an identity is stolen, the theft usually leads to the fraudulent use of personal identifying information. The use of stolen information such as name, Social Security number, and date of birth fall victim to identity theft when used to obtain electricity, gas, open a checking account, and even attain employment.

When new accounts are open, thieves usually don't stick around to see their financial obligations through. In turn, furnishers start reporting negative information to the credit reporting agencies. The new information gets assigned to a credit file that matches the name, Social Security number, and date of birth of an innocent, now victimized, consumer.