Huge Increase in Tax Identity Theft, New Helpful FTC Website, IdentityTheft.gov

Huge Increase in Tax Identity Theft, New Helpful FTC Website, IdentityTheft.gov Identity theft fraudsters used to steal consumers’ credit card information and run up charges. They still do, but now the fraudsters are stealing identity information to file fraudulent tax returns to get tax refunds in large numbers. In 2015, about 43% of the Federal Trade Commission’s complaints were related to use of stolen identities to get others’ tax refunds. Fraudsters also use someone else’s children as dependents in filing their tax returns to lessen their tax liability. Other crooks claim a tax refund using a deceased taxpayer’s information. Still...

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What’s Wrong with the Credit Reporting System

What’s Wrong with the Credit Reporting System On September 10, 2014, the House of Representatives SubCommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit heard testimony on the current state of the consumer credit reporting system. Mr Stuart Pratt, who is with the industry trade association, the Consumer Data Industry Association, testified that all was well with the system, except that there are too many class actions against his member companies. Ms Chi Chi Wu, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, testified that the credit reporting system is neither fair nor completely accurate and as a result tens of millions...

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Experian Worst of Big 3 in Resolving Consumer Disputes

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a complaint database concerning credit reporting. Based on the data, the Bureau last week published a report that Experian received almost 60 percent more complaints than TransUnion and 14 percent more than Equifax. Even worse, Experian offered relief to the consumer just 1.4 percent of the time! That compares to a rate of 24 percent at TransUnion and 55 percent for Equifax.. This data is consistent with the cases I see. Experian only rarely deletes accounts that the consumer disputes, instead deferring to its customers, the banks and other creditors. The the Big...

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Credit Scores Used by Consumers and Lenders Vary

On Sept 25, 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released a study comparing credit scores sold to creditors and those sold to consumers. The Bureau found that 20% of consumers receive a score significantly different than the score send to the lender. The Bureau analyzed 200,000 credit files from Experian, Equifax and Trans Union. The report concludes that the credit score discrepancies harm consumers. Consumers, relying on the credit score they receive, may apply for credit and not get it or they may pay more for a loan that they should based on the score they received. There is no...

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FTC Report on How Credit Bureaus Deal with Identity Theft

The FTC has a report out on a survey of 3,000 identity theft victims and their experiences dealing with the credit reporting agencies. The survey indicated that many consumers start out not knowing how the dispute process works under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This is not surprising given the complexity of the matter and the counter intuitive requirement that the consumer contact the credit bureaus directly rather than going through the creditor that is reporting the inaccurate information. Among the identity theft victims who contacted the credit bureaus, 40% did not know they had the right to dispute to...

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