Collection Calls as a Result of Identity Theft
In most cases, people who receive collection calls accrued the debt themselves and have fallen behind on their payments. In some instances, however, these charges are a result of identity theft. Because people rely on technology to pay bills and make banking transactions, it is important to stay protected against hackers and Internet fraud. The best way to avoid collection agency harassment is to reduce the risk of having your identity stolen in the first place.
Consumers who use debit cards should check their account activity frequently. Every major bank has an online banking option which makes it quick, convenient, and free to monitor checking accounts. Anyone who comes across questionable or suspicious transactions on their statement should contact the bank as soon as possible.
Credit cards are better protected against fraud. Therefore, they should be used for online shopping and other Internet transactions instead of debit cards. Information shared online runs the risk of being stolen by hackers and used without your knowledge or consent. Again, people who suspect their accounts have been used fraudulently should contact the credit card company immediately.
Collection calls only begin once payments have not been made for a significant amount of time. Regular credit checks are a surefire way to stop theft in its tracks. Some criminals can open new cards in the victim’s name; in some cases, the only way a person knows that this new account exists is by seeing it on their credit report. Credit scores are very sensitive to missed payments, and even a fraudulent card can have a negative impact on your score for a while.
A police report that records specific details of an identity theft is considered an identity theft report and provides you with certain legal rights when you present it to the three major credit reporting agencies or companies where your information may have been used. Identity theft reports can help you clean-up erroneous information in your reports, prevent companies from continuing to collect debt and can allow you to place an extended fraud alert monitor on your credit reports.
To receive the protections listed above, your report must contain specific details about the theft. File an identity theft complaint with the FTC. You should make a copy of this report and take it with you when filing your police report.
Obtain copies of all fraudulent documents you can collect. This information will be necessary to file the details in your report and provide evidence for criminal proceedings in the event the thief is caught.
Comment by DFH Financial Solutions on August 9th, 2011 at 3:47 am