This is a question for an investigative journalist as I have yet to receive a straight answer from a credit report agency which I have chosen to keep anonymous, for now:
My question to them:
1) Why is it so easy for an identity thief to change my birthday on my credit, when I have had the same birthdate for 20+ years? It should be next to impossible to change the birthdate. In what % of cases is the birth date wrong – .01%?
2) Why do I now have to PROVE what my birthday is instead of you keeping a record of what it was for the last 20 years.
Thank you for contacting XYZ. We are sorry to hear you have become a victim of identity theft.
Identity theft is a very serious matter and we strive to assist in the recovery of all victims who contact us with empathy and professionalism. XYZ, as a credit-reporting agency, assembles, stores, and reports credit information as reported to us from credit grantors who subscribe to our service and from selected public records. Congress understood that credit reporting agencies would not always be given accurate information, and therefore established procedures for consumers to dispute information in their reports. The Fair Credit Reporting Act then requires credit reporting agencies, upon receipt of a consumerâ€™s dispute, to investigate for the first time the accuracy of the item it has reported. If a credit reporting agency accurately reports the information it is given, and then completes its investigation of a consumerâ€™s dispute in a reasonable amount of time, the credit reporting agency has complied with its requirements under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The dispute process may take up to 30 days (45 if
the credit report is from the Central Source and 21 days in the state of Maine) to complete in accordance with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. There is no fee for disputing information on your credit report.
Thanks for sending me this info. However it doesn't address my fundamental question: Why, if I have 20+ years of the same birthday on my credit report, can my birthday suddenly be changed by a random person.
Was the identity thief required to send you all kinds of identification to prove that "my" birthday had changed?
Or did they change it once on an application and then it got recorded by you as my birthday?
I really want to understand this as, like I said, I assume only .01% of consumers will ever need to change their birthdays after their credit is first established.
I hope to see an expose in the near future in the national media on this issue! Tell everyone you know and get a groundswell going to get birthdays frozen on credit reports.