Credit Advice

Friends or relatives using your SSN

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Credit Advice

Friends or relatives using your SSN

Dear Experian,

I have a problem with someone using my Social Security number. I know who it is, but I don’t want them to get in trouble. Is there any way to stop it and get it off my credit?

- EZY

Dear EZY,

Sadly, friends and family are among the most common perpetrators of fraud and identity theft. Unfortunately, there is little you can do if you are unwilling to take legal action.

Businesses need a police report or valid identity theft report in order to close fraudulent accounts, and to subsequently request that the accounts be removed from your credit history. Likewise, Experian must have a police report or valid identity theft report before it can begin proactively blocking fraudulent accounts.

Without such a requirement, everyone with a delinquent account could simply claim it was fraudulent so that businesses and credit reporting companies would wipe their records clean. That puts people in your situation in an emotionally wrenching position.

Short of filing charges, your only recourse is to have a serious heart-to-heart conversation. They need to understand that what they are doing is destroying your friendship and trust and is causing you serious financial harm. If you can, work with the person to close the accounts and to help them choose to stop committing fraud against you.

Make it clear that if they refuse, you will take legal action. The person is not a friend if they continue to commit fraud, and you should sever that relationship. If they are a family member, it is more difficult, but you still might have to press charges. It is cliché, but sometimes tough love is necessary to make a family member change their ways.

Thanks for asking.

- The "Ask Experian" team

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