New ID Theft–Millions of Persons who Apply for Credit Who Don’t Exist

The Wall Street Journal on March 6, 2018, has a report on the latest ID theft scam. A fraudster applies for credit for someone who does not exist. Fraudsters start the process of  creating a fake person in the records of the credit bureaus by asking a creditor for credit using a fake name and a social security number that has not been assigned or a number assigned to a child whose identity has not not made it into the credit files. Such fake numbers are known as "credit-profile" numbers or CPNs. Once a creditor grants the fake person credit,...


Consumer Bureau Drops Investigation of Equifax Data Breach

Here's a disturbing report on the Trump Administration's Pull-Back on Equifax Massive Data Breach Ever since Trump appointed Mike Mulvaney to take over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he has been systematically moving from consumer protection to protecting payday lenders, credit agencies, and other industry groups. The latest outrage is an outrage--he is stepping back from investigating the massive Equifax data breach. Reuters reports the Consumer Bureau “has not ordered subpoenas against Equifax or sought sworn testimony from executives” and has also “shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of how Equifax protects data.” “This is frankly unbelievable,” stated National Consumer Law Center Attorney Chi Chi...


Equifax Offers a Buggy Lock on its Credit Files

Equifax announced a new way to lock your Equifax credit files thereby denying access to your credit files using your mobile phone. However, when NY Times reporters Tara Bernard and Ron Lieber tried out the lock it was not working.  The idea behind the service is that you can easily lock and unlock it with your phone. Experian and Trans Union also offer a way to lock your credit, at a cost of $20/month. The usual way to deny access to your files is with a security freeze on your credit reports. Security freezes may be a better approach if...


About the Massive Equifax Data Breach and What to Do About it

As almost every knows, in Equifax suffered a massive data breach that affected about half of the United States population and nearly three-quarters of consumers with credit reports.  To make matters worse, the stolen information included sensitive personal data useful for identity theft: Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers. The thieves also got credit card information on 200,000 consumers. Consumer advocates are calling on Equifax to pay fees for security freezes for consumers.  A security freeze is the most effective measure against “new account” identity theft, because it stops thieves from using the consumer’s stolen...


CFPB Shuts Down Illegal Credit Repair Company

Today, the CFPB announced it was shutting down a credit repair company that had charged 50,000 consumers over $20 million in violation of federal law. The CFPB charged Prime Marketing Holdings, LLC, Van Nuys, California, with imposing illegal advance fees and misleading consumers about the cost and effectiveness of its services and the nature of its money-back guarantee. The company operated under various names including Park View Credit, National Credit Advisors, and Credit Experts. The CFPB said the company had violated federal laws concerning credit repair: Charged illegal advance fees: Federal law bars companies from collecting advance fees for credit repair services....

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