What should a consumer do if his identity has been stolen and used to obtain credit?
The consumer should first be aware that identity theft is a crime that must be reported to the police authorities. A stumbling block is that, often, this crime is perpetrated by a family member, and the victim does not want to get his family member in trouble; in which case, there is not much we can do. But once the victim does press charges and the state is successful in prosecuting the criminal, the consumer then must formally dispute the items on his credit report. The consumer should obtain a current report from all three credit agencies and highlight the disputed items. The credit agencies are required to respond within 30 days. The agencies must notify you of removal of the item(s) or notify you of the validity of the item(s). If not, then the agency may be in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the consumer should contact The Consumer Law Group immediately.