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Credit Fraud Story

Savvy Community: Saving My Credit From Credit Fraud


Savvy Community member brisas shares her credit report nightmare with the Ask Savvy group. Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below.

This is a credit report horror story and I don't imagine it has happened to many but I hope it will inspire everyone to check their credit report frequently! A little background, I have always been very financially responsible by that I mean, I never carry a balance on my credit card, I paid off a brand new car in a year and the only debt I have is a student loan. I even started monitoring my credit more than two years ago since I was planning on buying a home.

A couple months after buying my first home, I noticed I was getting a ton of emails from the credit monitoring service, which I had actually debated on canceling, boy I am glad I didn't! All of these notices were for new credit cards that were appearing on my one of my credit reports. All of these were cards that I never signed up for but the strangest thing some of them went back to before I ever even had a credit card. After much researching and many hours on the phone, I found out that someone had been fraudulently using my social security to obtain credit for more than 15 years but for whatever reason none of these ever showed up on my actual credit report until much later. The person had a similar first name but completely different last name and was born eight years before me. At one point my credit report even started using the wrong name and birth date. Luckily I was able to clear it all up but it took many hours, several phone calls and a ton of paper work to get my credit back to where it was just months earlier.

To find out what advice brisas has to give, read on.

So my advice is check your credit; you can sign up for a lot of different services like Truecredit and there is a website Annual Credit Report where you can get your report for free, so no excuses. If you see discrepancies on your credit report take action immediately, you can also set up a fraud alert on your account, so no new credit can be opened without your approval. It lasts for about 90 days and can be extended. I also found the Federal Trade Commission's site to be pretty helpful, especially laying out the steps to get this cleared up! So while you are doing all of your spring cleaning, be sure to check your credit too!

Ask anything career or budget-related — well almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and readers and I will weigh in to support you.

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