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Fraud Disputes

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New Member

Fraud Disputes

Hi guys, this is my first post. Happy to be here! I’ve seen some of the messages on the board bounce around back and forth based upon personal experiences - so I wanted to ask a general question and see if there is anything else I should be doing. 

 

I’m a lifelong Iowan, and from 2010 to 2015 I studied abroad to finish my PhD. During that time (more specifically, late 2010 to mid 2012) my information was used to open an auto lease, two credit cards, three mobile phone accounts, and all of this took place in a state on the east coast that I’ve never even visited. 

 

I’ve never really needed credit (I’m a university professor, things like housing, etc are taken care of my employer) until I decided this year to buy a new car. I thought the smart thing would be to pull my credit and boy was I surprised when I noticed these accounts!

 

I didn’t want to waste any time to I immediately hired a local attorney. He sent Cease and Desist letters to all of the creditors and not a single one responded. So, recently, we decided to take the issue to the credit bureaus. 

 

This week my attorney sent large packages of information to all three CRAs via priority mail. The information included: 

 

1) A demand for the information to be blocked or removed based upon provisions of the FCRA and the FDCP.

2) Copies of two police reports (one from Iowa, and one from the agency on the east coast where a lot of this fraud occurred). There are notes on both police reports in the “addendum” section that state the law enforcement agencies have “high confidence” that I am indeed a victim. (One of the reports also points out that I’ve never been licensed in that state, nor registered a vehicle there - thus negating my ability to have leased any vehicle.)

3) The FTC Fraud Affidavit - signed my me, a witness, a notary, and a police officer.

4) Statement from the property management company at two of the fraudulent addresses on the east coast that I’ve never lived there. 

5) An IRS identity theft affidavit. 

6) A letter from my university abroad, proving that I was studying there when these accounts were opened. 

7) Copies of the standard ID documents like my passport, SSC, and documents proving my address (utility bills, etc). 

8) A detailed breakdown of each fraudulent account, while it is being disputed, what laws it violates by continuing to be disputed, and then references the documentation I’ve referenced above to further prove our case for deletion. 

 

Is there anything we are missing, or you wish you had included when you began this process? Some of you have had good experiences, and bad experiences, and I just wanted to see if there is anything else I should be doing. 

 

Thanks for all of the help! Happy Spring! 

 

 

 

7 REPLIES 7
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Legendary Contributor

Re: Fraud Disputes

It depends upon how you are planning to pursue removal.

There are two basic and separate methods to address information that is asserted to have been reported due to identity theft.

What you have may not be sufficient to obtain deletion by way of a dispute, but is more than sufficient to obtain block of the information from your credit report.

 

The first is to file a dispute with the CRA (FCRA 611(a)) and have the assertion investigated and th information either verified or deleted.

The dispute is referred to the furnisher, who investigates and responds back to the CRA.  The furnisher will often investigate and verify based on documents in their possession, even though they may be fraudulent.  There is no explicit requirement that the furnisher conduct a factual evaluation of the accuracy of documents in their files, so the dispute process will usually fail to obtain deletion of the reported information.

 

The second is to file a request under the FCRA identity theft process, detailed under FCRA 605B, which was added to the FCRA back in 2003 to address the inherent furnisher investigation and involvement problems inherent in the FCRA dispute process.  In a nutshell, FCRA 605B permits blocking (as opposed to deletion) of identity theft information with NO involvment of the furnisher.  If the consumer provides the assertion in the form of a sworn statement made before a law enforcement agency (a police report), that statement carries criminal penalties for knowingly false statements, and thus is sufficient under section 605B to block the information with no input from or involvement of the furnisher.

 

What you have provided is actually in excess of that needed to obtain block of the information under the FCRA 605B identity theft process.

However, it may not be sufficient to obtain deletion if you submit in the form of a dispute under the FCRA 611(a) dispute process, which then involves verification by the furnisher.

 

There is a sticky post in the upper section of the General Credit Topics forum which discusses the FCRA identity theft process in detail.

 

As for what you can additionally do, the FCRA identity theft process also includes the ability to send the police report to the furnisher, which then permits you to obtain all documents in their (the creditors) possession which relate to the account, such as the documents they are relying upon to support the opening of the account.  That mini-discovery right is powerful, and can be used to additionally pursue your factual proof that the account was not authorized by you.  See FCRA 609(e).

 

Finally, once you have a block under FCRA 605B, that will prevent the furnisher from any sale of the debt to another.

You want to avoid such sale, as it might start the whole reporting and blocking process anew. n See FCRA 615(f).

 

In summary, I recommend sending the police report, identity theft affidavit, and proof of identity to the CRA, and requesting block of the information from your credit report under FCRA 605B.

I would additionally recommend sending a copy of the police report to the creditor, and request all information in their business files that are relevant to the account, citing FCRA 609(e).

Message 2 of 8
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New Member

Re: Fraud Disputes

Thanks so much for the thoroughness of your reply! I went back and looked at the letter my attorney sent with the documentation, and he sites all the laws and statues they are violating by reporting fraudulent information and requests relief under 605B. He mentioned he sent an “abundance of information” so they wouldn’t have any excuse to drag their feet. I don’t know how they’ll respond, but I hired a lion - he’s ready to hit back if they take their time or attempt to obfuscate.

Message 3 of 8
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New Member

Re: Fraud Disputes

UPDATE! 

 

TransUnion has refused to implement 605B without explanation. Their rep was on speakerphone in my attorney’s office when they told us. Similar to other reports from these forums, it seems a standard denial letter was sent the day they received the documents. 

 

 Next steps? My attorney immediately filed complaints with the Iowa (my state) Consumer Affairs Office (who said TU’s response was “flabbergasting”) and with the Illinois Attorney General (who contacted him hours later and requested our documents). I also filed a CFPB complaint and attached the 40+ pages of documentation. We have also reached out to TU’s Executive Office. 

 

Let’s see how much pressure we can apply to force them to do the right thing. If they don’t, the next step is a lawsuit which will be filed in federal court (there would also be a local lawsuit based upon violations of Iowa consumer protection laws). 

 

I’ll let everyone know when I hear from EQ and EX.

 

Until then - HEY, TRANSUNION! I’M COMING FOR YOU. 

 

 

Message 4 of 8
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New Visitor

Re: Fraud Disputes

Hello - Do you have another update for us?

 


@Profiteer wrote:

UPDATE! 

 

TransUnion has refused to implement 605B without explanation. Their rep was on speakerphone in my attorney’s office when they told us. Similar to other reports from these forums, it seems a standard denial letter was sent the day they received the documents. 

 

 Next steps? My attorney immediately filed complaints with the Iowa (my state) Consumer Affairs Office (who said TU’s response was “flabbergasting”) and with the Illinois Attorney General (who contacted him hours later and requested our documents). I also filed a CFPB complaint and attached the 40+ pages of documentation. We have also reached out to TU’s Executive Office. 

 

Let’s see how much pressure we can apply to force them to do the right thing. If they don’t, the next step is a lawsuit which will be filed in federal court (there would also be a local lawsuit based upon violations of Iowa consumer protection laws). 

 

I’ll let everyone know when I hear from EQ and EX.

 

Until then - HEY, TRANSUNION! I’M COMING FOR YOU. 

 

 


 

Message 5 of 8
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Established Contributor

Re: Fraud Disputes

I heartily approve of people retaining legal services for these matters. Many of us cannot afford lawyers and lawsuits. My opinion is that companies don't bother with the law because the consequences are minute. Every time someone sues it shows the companies that they cannot get away with treating people like a math equation.

Kudoes!

Message 6 of 8
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Legendary Contributor

Re: Fraud Disputes

A CRA must, if they decline to block under FCRA 605B(a), provide the basis for declining.

The legit basis for declining to block must be one of the following, as set forth under FCRA 605B(c):

 

"FCRA 605B(c)  Authority to Decline or Rescind
       (1) 
In general. A consumer reporting agency may decline to block, or may rescind any block, of information relating to a consumer under this section, if the consumer reporting agency reasonably determines that 

  • the information was blocked in error or a block was requested by the consumer in error;
  • the information was blocked, or a block was requested by the consumer, on the basis of a material misrepresentation of fact by the consumer relevant to the request to block; or
  • the consumer obtained possession of goods, services, or money as a result of the blocked transaction or transactions.

     (2) Notification to consumer. If a block of information is declined or rescinded under this subsection, the affected consumer shall be noti-fied promptly, in the same manner as consumers are notified of the reinsertion of information under section 611(a)(5)(B)."

Message 7 of 8
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Legendary Contributor

Re: Fraud Disputes

"FCRA 605B (c) Authority to Decline or Rescind

 

Message 8 of 8
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