#23 Debt Parking and Credit Reporting Agencies Assistance/Alert Fraud
The evolution of identity theft continues to provide new challenges that require consistent awareness to any possible threat. Debt parking, also sometimes referred to as passive debt collection, is one of these seemingly surprising tactics that many are still unaware of.
Debt parking is a scheme that literally places fake debts onto your consumer credit report. You will be unaware that these debts are associated with your identity until you apply for a loan or a mortgage – only to be turned down when the issue is uncovered.
Shady debt collectors file these bogus (and illegal) debts onto an unsuspecting victim’s credit report without reporting it to the consumer. The idea is to force you into paying a debt that isn’t actually yours in order to clean up your report and restore good credit standing. If not, it may affect your ability to get access to loans and even get a job.
The major credit reporting bureaus don’t yet have enough safeguards in place to prevent debt parking from occurring and consistent monitoring of your credit reports is essential to catch these invalid debts from secretly accumulating. But that alone isn’t always enough to prevent it. LibertyID are experts in resolving all areas of identity fraud?
Credit reporting agencies assistance fraud is a more straightforward scam but one that is still very common. You will receive a very authentic looking email from one of the main credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. This is another attempt by threat actors to gain access to your personal identifying information to steal your identity.
If you see these emails pop up in your inbox, DO NOT click on any links and never enter any personal information. This email scam is known as “spoofing” when it looks like an authentic email but may also appear as a “vishing” scam that comes from a random phone call from a supposed credit agency.
These agencies will not call you out of the blue so never give personal information to an unsolicited caller over the phone. Hang up immediately and don’t trust caller ID as scammers can easily spoof phone numbers.
A twist on the above is a fake credit agency alert. This alert will again appear as a legitimate notification from one of the credit reporting agencies when in fact it’s another attempt to gain access to your personal information. These “alerts” may show up as a text message, email, or phone call. Regardless of how you receive them, these are scams and need to be treated as such. Never respond, click on links, or provide information to a random credit agency alert.
Remember that credit monitoring will not alert you to the types of identity theft described above.
LibertyID will take the following steps for/with their members:
- Contact impacted creditor/businesses where the victim’s information was misused and have the fraudulent accounts closed and note the presence of identity theft.
- Place fraud alerts at all three credit reporting agencies
- Place credit freezes at all three credit reporting agencies, if appropriate
- File report with FTC
- Review credit reports with the victim to ensure there is no other types of fraud
- Provide single bureau credit monitoring with alerts for 12 months
- LibertyID will ensure that the restoration is completed with the victim
- Periodically contact the member throughout the 12 months following resolution of their ID theft recovery case, if warranted