||Ask Dr. Don
My ex is a lying, cheating ...
Dear Dr. Don,
I just discovered that my ex-husband is using my credit to obtain
credit cards in my name. What can I do? I not only want to stop
the new cards I know about but also prevent him from getting any
more cards in my name.
The three major credit bureaus are very hard to work
with. I've spent hours on the phone with them and accomplished nothing.
Help! Thank you very much for any insights you have for me.
You're a victim of identity theft. Just because he's your ex-husband
doesn't mean that he's not breaking the law. I'm not sure why the
consumer reporting agencies haven't been more helpful. All three
have fraud departments that should have immediately put a fraud
alert on your credit report requesting that prospective lenders
contact you personally before extending credit.
If you haven't taken that step, take it now. Do it
over the phone or on the computer, but follow up with a letter so
you have a paper trail showing that you've notified the consumer
reporting agencies about this problem. Bankrate provides the contact
information for all three agencies. The consumer reporting agencies
will also provide you with a free copy of your credit report, so
you know what creditors to contact about the current fraudulent
After reviewing the reports, contact creditors on
any accounts that appear to have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Once again, you can do the initial contact by phone, asking to speak
with someone in the security or fraud department, but follow up
your phone call with a letter.
The letters are part of the requirements of the Fair
Credit Billing Act to resolve errors involving your credit billing,
including provisions for charges that you did not make. Along with
copies of your letters you should keep a log of your phone conversations,
including the names of the people you spoke with, the times and
dates of your calls and notes of your conversations.
Next, file a report with either your local police
department or the police department in the community where you suspect
that the identity theft took place. Keep a copy of the report on
file for your records and to show creditors if they need to see
proof that the crime was reported.
Using the FTC's Identity
Theft Affidavit will simplify and standardize how you report
this information to creditors and the credit reporting agencies.
It can be a follow-up to your initial contact letters. Don't delay
in contacting creditors, credit reporting agencies and the police
when reporting the fraudulent use of your personal information.