AT&T failed to verfiy proof of identity and it resulted in someone using my social and name to open up new uverse services in Septemeber 2012 and I was not notified until Saturday 05-04-13 and that was via a collection agency stating I owe them over 900.00.
Class Action Attorney
More information is needed here, but I'll give you some cursory thoughts.
Things you will need to do as an initial matter include reporting the ID theft with local law enforcement right away. File a report with your police department and complete an identity theft affidavit. You may also obtain an identity theft affidavit at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf.
For more guidance on steps you may take to protect your rights, visit http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/id-theft.jsp.
Additionally, if you have not done so, you should check your consumer credit reports to see the extent of false information is appearing and how wide spread the ID theft is. Often when identity thieves strike, they open multiple fraudulent accounts in their victim’s name. Inaccurate information can affect your access to favorable credit terms, employment, and even insurance. You may obtain a free copy of your credit reports from the three national credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com once per year. If you place a fraud alert on your credit file (which is likely advisable in your case, despite some of the drawbacks) you are entitled to two free reports from each bureau per year.
As to the contacts by the debt collector, you certainly have legal rights to this end as well. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs debt collectors and the methods they may utilize to collect a debt. As a general rule, when an ID theft victim, is contacted by a debt collector I would suggest sending a letter to the debt collector (send everything by certified mail, return receipt requested, and keep copies!) explaining that the debt is not attributable to him/her. I would NOT provide information that included your Social Security number or date of birth to the debt collector at this juncture.
Visit http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/Debt-coll.jsp for additional information and resources about your legal rights related to debt collections.
I would strongly encourage you to seek the assistance of an attorney familiar with the federal law applicable to credit reporting (the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA) and debt collections (the FDCPA). For an attorney in your area, visit http://naca.net/find-attorney.
Many consumer advocates will consult with you without charge or obligation. And if you are an identity theft victim, many will provide representation on a fee-shifting/contingency basis; so the law is on your side.
This is the best first step in protecting your legal rights, and understanding the protections available to you under state and federal law. Good luck to you!!
NOTE: This Answer does not constitute legal advice. Every case is fact specific. To render a legal opinion, an attorney must engage in a consultation with a prospective client and review any pertinent documents. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Amy L. Wells or WELLS LAW OFFICE, INC.
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