Common Error on Credit Reports in Virginia with Discover
New Discover Credit Cards are opened online without a signature or ID
We have been suing creditors and credit reporting companies for approximately 20 years and one of the most problematic ones by far has been Discover. Discover spends just under $100,000,000 annually on advertisements with slogans like “We treat you like you treat you.,” and “Discover never holds you responsible for unauthorized purchases on your card.” What we have discovered is nothing could be farther from the truth particularly when it comes to identity theft claims. Most new Discover accounts are opened online with no signatures or forms of identification to prove who is on the other end of the computer. In Virginia and probably some other states, credit card companies need to have a written signature on file or proof that the consumer used the card and account to enforce its claim on the account. See Virginia Code §6.2-425. However, since most new credit card accounts are opened over the internet, they never have such proof, but that does not stop them from reporting the account to the credit reporting agencies as a legitimate account. This is particularly troubling when it comes to fraudulent claims and identity theft.
Tell tale signs of identity theft are ignored by Discover
In our cases against Discover we have had the opportunity to investigate and ask questions of the individuals that they hire, train and employ to handle disputes of identity theft. What we suspect is that these individuals are trained to look for reasons to verify that an account is not identity theft rather than question whether or not it is identity theft. Discover knows that there are some tell-tale signs of identity theft, yet even if they are present, it ignores them and continues to verify that the account is accurate. The first sign is that an account is charged to the credit limit in the first month or so. The next one is that there are no payments ever made. And the third one is that there is some inaccurate information on the account file like a name variant or address variant. The result is that it almost never finds that an account is the result of identity theft. Thus, if you are a victim of identity theft and the thief opened a Discover account you can be 99% certain that Discover will not correct it and take it off your credit report. This, of course, is the exact opposite of “never holding you responsible for unauthorized purchases.”
What to do when your identity theft dispute letters are declined
So, what can you do if you are the victim of identity theft and there is a fraudulent Discover account reporting on your credit report? You can dispute it until you are tired of writing dispute letters and then you are going to need an experienced credit lawyer. Fortunately, if you are reading this Blog, you know the name of at least one that you can call. Don’t waste your time and money on one of those credit repair companies and escalate immediately to a lawyer that knows how to deal with Discover.
Blankingship & Christiano accept most of their cases and clients on a contingency fee basis so the consumer does not need to be out of pocket any money to hire a lawyer and fight Discover. We fight for justice and hold companies like Discover responsible for their inaccurate credit reporting and refusal to correct it after the consumer disputes it.
If you have an error on your credit report and need legal help getting it corrected contact the Virginia Credit report error lawyers at Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. (571) 207-8331 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.