Identity Theft Can Leave You With Collections, Late Payments, and Worse



A thief opened a credit card in a man’s name and, by changing the address, made sure the victim never received any of the bills. The thief never paid the bills, so the new debt showed up as a collection on the victim’s credit report. The victim didn’t check his credit report; thus, he didn’t know about the new account. Eventually, the credit card company sued the victim, resulting in a judgment he now owes.

New late payments, a new collection, and a new judgment on his credit report for the next 7 years.


A thief gained access to a State database and stole personal and employment information. The thief used a woman’s personal information to file false tax returns and claimed her tax refund. The thief also filed false unemployment claims. Not only was the victim out her tax refund, but 9 months later the State filed a tax lien against her because of the fraudulent unemployment claims.

Tax lien on her credit report.



Bad employee sells co-worker and customer information on the Dark Web (The hacker’s marketplace).


A hacker obtains customer usernames and passwords, and sells them on the Dark Web (The hacker’s marketplace).


Thief steals mail and files false tax returns to claim tax refunds.


Thief steals a laptop from a car and gains millions of veterans’ social security numbers.



Credit monitoring services vary – most require a fee. They alert you when a new inquiry is made, a new account is opened, or a change has been made to your credit profile. Ideally, choose a monitoring service that monitors all 3 Credit Reporting Agencies.


Call any 1 of the 3 Credit Reporting Agencies (CRAs) to place a free, 90-day fraud alert on your credit profile. This alerts lenders to verify your identity before giving you credit. You may also place a security freeze ($10 per CRA) on your credit reports. This requires lenders to enter your PIN # in order to check your credit.


Identity thieves use phishing emails to steal personal and financial information. These emails appear legitimate – looking like they came from your creditor – but, they are fake. The email contains a fake link, taking the victim to a fake website that looks real. The unaware victim uses their credentials to login, and the thief captures their username and password. Instead of clicking email links, use a web browser to go to a website.



  1. Get your credit report to see any new accounts.
  2. Place a Fraud Alert or Security Freeze.
  3. Check with your creditors to review false charges or a change of address.
  4. File a police report.
  5. Visit for detailed information and steps you should take.

Credit Scoring Basics

GreenBayGreg of Dellaire Realty interviews the president of Credit Matters, Dan Krueger, to discuss the basics of credit repair and credit scoring.