Credit Card Companies Not Protecting Consumers

By | March 6, 2003

Wired News: Credit Card Cos. Watch Own Backs

This story in Wired refers to a Gartner report.

The report notes that while credit card companies’ “zero-liability” policies protect card holders from paying for unauthorized or fraudulent charges, they do not protect consumers from identity theft and the credit report hell that can follow.

I can identify with that. The person who stole my identity and opened eight credit accounts didn’t even use my exact name. One of the companies actually issued him/her a card in the name “Stewart L. Bobby”, even though the credit reports I received from Experian, Trans-Union, and Equifax all correctly listed my name as “Robert A. Stewart”.

While I didn’t have to pay any of the roughly $15,000 the thief ran up on these accounts, I estimate that I have spent over 40 hours straightening things out, and I’m not done, yet. Last week I received the notice from the last of the eight that they had asked all three credit bureaus to delete the details of the acocunts from my credit record, but I still have to get the credit bureaus to update some additional data.

Not only did the credit agencies add the fake names, addresses, and phone numbers to my personal data, but also two of the bureaus have my birthdate off by over a week.

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