You’re looking at your credit report and notice an account that doesn’t look in the least bit familiar. After some investigation, you identify that a parent or family member opened a line of credit without your permission. Yes, credit card fraud by way of a parent is a real thing. Maybe you’ve recognized this when you were on your way to college, or when you applied for your first apartment.
Take these steps to begin the journey of a much-needed credit cleanup:
Apply a credit freeze
To prevent any other unwanted activity, contact all three consumer reporting agencies and request a credit lock. Taking this step gives you the power to lock down any attempts of identity theft, data breaches or credit inquiries going forward.
Have a conversation with person in question
Be candid with your parents or family member about how their decisions have affected your credit history and the level of distrust that it has caused. Suggest a payment plan or reach a personal agreement with them to resolve the account in question. Deciding to press charges is a personal decision.
Dispute fraudulent information
Contact the credit bureaus and submit the disputes online. An investigation will take place for Experian, TransUnion and Equifax respectively, so don’t delay in sending additional information in the instance it’s requested.
Has this ever happened to you?