Hi, hope you don't mind another identity theft question. It's all new to me and I'm trying to figure out the steps to take to deal with this issue.
I pulled my free yearly credit report last week and discovered that a credit card was opened in my name in Aug, 2015 with Synchrony Bank, Pay Pal Smart Connect. I don't use Pay Pal and never applied for a credit card from them. I also see on my credit report a false address in Cincinnati, OH that dates to about the time this credit card was issued, as well as a phone number for that area that isn't mine. The amount charged was about $1200, and the account is showing as 'closed', and was a 'charge off'.
On Friday I received a letter from a collection agency called Northland Group in Minneapolis, MN trying to collect $1,126.
Just wondering what are the steps to take in clearing up this matter. I have filed a dispute online with Transunion Credit Bureau.
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posted: Sep. 18, 2016 @ 6:04p
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posted: Sep. 18, 2016 @ 7:26p
Steps to take: Wait for 1 of the regs to chime him with detailed instructions that you could find with a simple Google search.
On a different note: I wish a scammer (or 3) would chime in with how to pull off ID theft. When applying for LEGIT accounts, I get the 3rd degree. Yet scammers are able to walk off with $1k+, AFTER using an address that an ID victim had NEVER used.
Typically the powers that be require a police report to really get things going. Dispute once and then sue. You probably need to freeze your credit reports and notify the IRS in anticipation of fraudulent tax returns.
Respond with the collection agency demands proof of the debt. IF you do not, the law makes assumption that the debt is yours automatic and then they go to work. Dispute the facts with the credit bureau and with Synchrony Bank, Pay Pal Smart Connect themselves. Do FREEZE your credit with the big three plus search Doctor of Credit website for a few lesser known outfits such as ChexSystems in case of a bank account that did not show up on the credit reports you pulled. DoC has listed a couple of others. Also check out Credit Boards for more specifics.
Thank you for taking time to respond; appreciate it. I have done all the steps I guess I need to do, including filing a report with FTC, and will proceed to get a police report. There is a lot of information on how to proceed through this type of thing online, but it's also helpful to have people who have personally had to navigate the process share their experience and suggestions. Really what I was reaching out to this forum for, not for any particular hand holding or to eliminate the need to do my own research.
I just want to add that if the collector does not back down and causes you stress, hiring a lawyer to contact them is not a bad idea. A neighbor with a debt collector problem and got it resolved this way within 1-2 days. (It was not identity theft.)
If they harass you, don't just have your lawyer write them a letter -- learn the basics of FCRA and FDCPA, and if the collectors break these laws, sue them (as CN47 mentioned above). There's a statutory amount for each violation. Share with your lawyer if you don't want to do the work, but make sure he knows these laws.
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