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Correcting Fraudulent Information
Correcting Fraudulent Information in Credit Reports
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) establishes procedures for correcting fraudulent information on your credit report and requires that your report be made available only for certain legitimate business needs. Under the FCRA, both the consumer reporting company and the information provider (the business that sent the information to the consumer reporting company), such as a bank or credit card company, are responsible for correcting fraudulent information in your report. To protect your rights under the law, contact both the consumer reporting company and the information provider.
Consumer Reporting Company Obligations
Consumer reporting companies will block fraudulent information from appearing on your credit report if you take the following steps:
- Send them a copy of an identity theft report and a letter telling them what information is fraudulent. The letter also should state that the information does not relate to any transaction that you made or authorized. In addition, provide proof of your identity that may include your SSN, name, address, and other personal information requested by the consumer reporting company. Download a sample letter.
- The consumer reporting company has 4 business days to block the fraudulent information after accepting your identity theft report. It also must tell the information provider that it has blocked the information. The consumer reporting company may refuse to block the information or remove the block if, for example, you have not told the truth about your identity theft. If the consumer reporting company removes the block or refuses to place the block, it must let you know.
- The blocking process is only one way for identity theft victims to deal with fraudulent information. There's also the reinvestigation process, which was designed to help all consumers dispute errors or inaccuracies on their credit reports.