I was applying for a SEARS card and was declined because someone else was using the same license number as my own. I was denied credit because of this. Is this possibly a case of identity fraud. I did recieve a notice from my bank when applying for a card from them that I had credit delenquencies, but I personally have no established credit and have never spplied for anything before and have no bills in my name. Is this a possible case of identity fraud?
This very well may be a red flag that you are an identity theft victim. Kudos to you for taken prompt steps to protect yourself. The sooner you address this issue, the sooner you can restore your good name and work to build the good credit history you deserve.
If you have definitive information suggesting someone has stolen/used your information, report the ID theft right away. File a report with your police department and complete an identity theft affidavit. For more guidance on steps you may take to protect your rights, visit http://www.ohioconsumerhelp.com/sub/id-theft.jsp. You may also obtain an identity theft affidavit at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/resources/forms/affidavit.pdf.
Additionally, you should check your consumer credit reports. You noted you have been denied credit due to delinquencies, but that you have no established credit. Again, a red flag. As you have learned, derogatory information can affect your access to favorable credit terms. It can also affect your ability to gain 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. You are also entitled to a free copy anytime you are denied credit.
***I highly encourage consumers to make their request(s) for a free report from any credit bureau by mail (NOT over the Internet, as there are often certain waivers you agree to when you check that infamous "agree to our terms" box that may preclude your right to recovery in the future).
If anything is appearing on your reports that is not attributable to you, I would 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).
Many consumer advocates will consult with you without charge or obligation. This is the best first step in protecting your legal rights, and understanding the protections available to you under state and federal law. During your consultation, be sure to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of placing a fraud alert on your consumer file to protect against further harm to you and your good name.
Identity theft is a huge problem for American consumers -- the top consumer complaint with the FTC for more than decade. You are not alone and you have rights. Good luck to you in a speedy resolution.
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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