Identity theft report filed but credit card sent to collection agency anyway.
I filed an identity fraud complaint with Citi in January of 2013. We went back and forth a few times and then I never heard anything more. I had highlighted all fraudulent transactions on my statements for the time in question, and gave them my police report number (which I had filed much later at the instruction of an attorney).
Today I received a phone call from a debt collector at Viking. He seemed nice enough and asked if I hadn't paid because of a dispute, and we're supposed to talk tomorrow. I told him that was the reason, but I didn't have my information in front of me, so I didn't want to speak about the alleged debt until I was able to look.
What should I do when he calls tomorrow? I would think/hope that the police report in itself would hopefully take care of it, but don't know.
What happens if I send a credit card company a copy of an identity theft police report and they send me to collections?
Each bank will have its own policies and procedures for handling reports of identity theft of their account holders credit cards. Now that your Citibank card has been sent to Viking Collection Services, you may have to deal with both of them, which you appear ready to do.
I have some questions about how all of this transpired. Your answers could change my feedback.
Were you current with paying your credit card bill when the identity theft took place?
Once you caught on to the fact that there were fraudulent charges being made on your card, did you have a balance owed that were legitimate charges? If so, how much, and can you confidently say you paid those charges you recognized?
How long was it after you reported the issues to Citi that you filed the identity theft report with the police?
Do you have an identity theft affidavit already filled out?
Rampant credit card identity theft.
There is not a month that goes by these days that does not include one or more disclosures about large data security breaches affecting hundreds of millions peoples private information. When that breach involves financial information that leads to credit card identity theft, the subsequent fraud losses for banks reaches into the tens of millions and more.
Credit card banks are able to write off certain fraud losses. With how rampant identity theft is these days, it is built into most financial institutions business models as an accepted norm. Yay for them, their covered!
Most of us consumers out here in the wild are not prepared for identity theft. And when it does occur, when you think you handled everything correctly, can be shocked to learn that your credit reports can end up dinged, and your credit scores drop.
That all can be compounded once accounts end up in the hands of debt collectors. And made worse still when accounts are sold off to debt buyers who think they have a legitimate debt to collect, and who may even be skeptical about claims of identity theft.
Filing reports of identity theft and the paper trail.
You suddenly learn you are a victim of identity theft. All you know so far is that there were charges to your one credit card that you did not make. That alone is enough to start and keep an accurate paper trail of your efforts. But you also need to know that other aspects of your financial life can be impacted by this, and not just once you resolve the current problem with the the debt collector Citibank sent your account to.
Filing the identity theft police report was something your credit card lender should have advised you to do immediately. I am not sure why that is not part of every banks customer talk off policy when there is a report of identity theft.
Now that you have that in hand, you can and should share those details with the collection agency. Depending on your answers to my initial questions above, you should be checking your credit reports to see how Citibank is showing up, or that collection agencies are not showing up for this, or perhaps other accounts.
You will want to monitor your credit reports for anything suspicious, and should really consider putting a fraud alert on your reports for right now. A stolen identity is a commodity to other identity thieves. Your information can be shared or sold to others.
Post answers to my questions in the comment box below and I can offer more specific feedback. Anyone reading who is dealing with identity theft and subsequent issues with a debt collector or credit reporting is welcome to post in the comments for feedback.