Handling identity theft with a bank account is a little different than just dealing with identity theft. The FTC outlines how to deal with these situations. In general, if an identity thief steals your checks or counterfeits checks from your existing bank account, stop payment, close the account, and ask your bank to notify Chexsystems or the check verification service with which it does business.
Dispute any bad checks passed in your name with merchants so they don't start any collections actions against you. That way, retailers can be notified not to accept these checks.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act(FCRA) gives you specific rights when you are, or believe that you are the victim of identity theft.
You have the right to ask that nationwide consumer reporting agencies place Ã¢â‚¬Å“fraud alertsÃ¢â‚¬Â in your file to let potential creditors and others know that you may be a victim of identity theft. A fraud alert can make it more difficult for someone to get credit in your name because it tells creditors to follow certain procedures to protect you. It also may delay your ability to obtain credit. You may place a fraud alert in your file by calling just one of the three nationwide consumer reporting agencies. As soon as that agency processes your fraud alert, it will notify the other two, which then also must place fraud alerts in your file.
In addition to the fraud alert with the 3 CRAs above you can put a fraud alert on your chexsystems report or any CRA. For Chexsystems and Scan, they have a special affidavit form you can fill out online.
You have a right to place a "security alert" in your Chexsystems or Scan report, which will warn anyone who receives information from your report that your identity may have been used without your consent.
Recipients of your consumer report are advised, but not required, to verify your identity prior to entering a business relationship.
They will require that you provide a notarized affidavit in order for your alert to remain on file for five years. If they do not receive the notarized affidavit, your alert will remain on file for ninety days. You can print the notarized form online as well and then have it signed by a notary.
The security alert may prevent accounts and services from being approved in your name without your consent. However, you should be aware that taking advantage of this right may delay or interfere with timely approval from any user of your consumer report that you wish to do business with.
If you place a security alert on your consumer report, you have a right to obtain a free copy of your consumer report at the time the security alert expires. Once your security alert has been submitted, all requests to change any information on your security alert must be received in writing and must be accompanied by your Social Security number and password.
For Equifax, Experian, and Transunion, an initial fraud alert stays in your file for at least 90 days. An extended alert stays in your file for seven years. To place either of these alerts, a consumer reporting agency will require you to provide appropriate proof of your identity, which may include your Social Security number. Always file a report with your local, federal or state law enforcement agency (police department). This will serve as back up documentation.
You have the rights to free copies of the information in your file
your called theÃ¢â‚¬Å“file disclosureÃ¢â‚¬Â. An initial fraud alert entitles you to a copy of all the information in your file at each of the three nationwide agencies, and an extended alert entitles you to two free file disclosures in a 12-month period following the placing of the alert. These additional disclosures may help you detect signs of fraud, for example, whether fraudulent accounts have been opened in your name or whether someone has reported a change in your address.
Once a year, you also have the right to a free copy of the information in your file at any consumer reporting agency. If you believe it has inaccurate information due to fraud, such as identity theft, you also have the ability to obtain additional free file disclosure under other provisions of the FCRA.
You have the right to obtain documents relating to fraudulent transactions made or accounts opened using your personal information. A creditor or other business must give you copies of applications and other business records relating to transactions and accounts that resulted from the theft of your identity, if you ask for them in writing. A business may ask you for proof of your identity, a police report, and an affidavit before giving you the documents. It also may specify an address for you to send your request. Under certain circumstances, a business can refuse to provide you with these documents.
You have the right to obtain information from a debt collector. If you ask, a debt collector must provide you with certain information about the debts you believe were incurred in your name by an identity thief , such as the name of the creditor and the amount of the debt.
If you believe information in your file results from identity theft, you have the right to ask that a consumer reporting agency block that information from your file (this includes any Check reporting Agencies such as chexsystems) along with Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
An identity thief may run up bills in your name and not pay them. Information about the unpaid bills may appear on your consumer report. Should you decide to ask a consumer reporting agency to block the reporting of this information, you must identify the information to block, and provide the consumer reporting agency with proof of your identity and the police report if you did file one.
The consumer reporting agency can refuse or cancel your request for a block if, for example, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t provide the necessary documentation, or where the block results from an error or material misrepresentation of fact made by you. If the agency declines a block, it must notify you. Once a debt resulting from identity theft has been blocked, a person or business with notice of the block may not sell, transfer, or place the debt for collection.
You also may prevent businesses from reporting information about you to consumer reporting agencies if you believe the information is a result of identity theft. To do so, you must send your request to the address specified by the business that reports the information to the consumer reporting agency. The business will expect you to identify what information you do not want reported and to provide a police report or any other documentation you have that shows you may have been a victim of identity theft. Documentation includes a police report and any reports made to the FTC. Always file a complaint with the FTC (for any fraud).
By signing up a debt counseling session, your provided details (Name, Email ID and Phone No.) will be forwarded to the company advertising on the DebtCC. However, you have no obligation to use their services.
Some creditors and collection agencies refuse to lower the payoff amount, interest rate, and fees owed by the consumer.
Creditors/collection agencies can make collection calls and file lawsuits against the consumers represented by the debt relief companies.
Debt relief services may have a negative impact on the consumer's creditworthiness and his overall debt amount may increase due to the accumulation of extra fees.
The amount which the consumer saves with the use of debt relief services can be regarded as taxable income.