Experian Equifax and TransUnion Must Help Service Members With Identity Theft
From 2014 to 2020 military complaints about identity theft have risen 500%. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a report regarding the rising incidence of identity theft affecting service members and their families. The report states that Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion “must be responsive to identity theft and credit concerns of service members veterans and military families.” You can review a full copy of the report here: https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_servicemember-reports-about-identity-theft-are-increasing_2023-01.pdf
Service members are major targets of identity theft
In addition, a 2020 Federal Trade Commission report stated that service members are 22% more likely than a civilian to report identity theft involving a new credit card or other account. Frequent relocation makes service members a target of identity thieves because the changing of location information increases the number of times that require the sharing of identification information to open new accounts and utilities, which in turn increase the opportunities for the information to end up in the hands of identity thieves.
Security clearance can be at risk
The effects of identity theft on service members can be even more devastating because many service members must maintain security clearances as part of their service duties. If the security clearance review process reveals that the member is not meeting their financial obligations, the service member’s security clearance may be revoked. Fraudulent and delinquent identity theft accounts give the false impression that financial obligations are not being paid. Inaccurate identity theft accounts reported by Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion can also limit housing options or increase the cost to set up utilities for service members.
Active-duty members may request an active duty alert be placed on their credit files. In addition, military members should review their credit history for accounts, addresses, and inquiries that they do not recognize. Identity theft victims with inaccurate credit accounts often feel like they are in a hopeless loop of disputing information only to have the information reappear or remain on the credit file. Even if the initial account holder determines the account was opened by fraud, the account can appear again on a credit report when a debt buyer like Midland Financial or Portfolio Recovery purchases the identity theft account and thereafter reports an inaccurate identity theft account on the service member’s credit file.
Victims of identity theft can get legal support
Blankingship & Christiano has helped service members recover from the effects of identity theft and inaccurate credit reports for many years by working to end their credit reporting nightmare and recover for damages caused by the inaccurate credit reporting. If you are or have been the victim of identity theft or inaccurate credit reporting, contact a lawyer that concentrates their practice on these specific issues.
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.