Identity theft - paying for protection

Discussion in 'Politics' started by FRE, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. FRE

    FRE
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    The credit industry, including the three credit reporting agencies, credit card companies, and banks, created a system that puts all of us at high risk for identity theft. If we experience identity theft, it may costs us thousands of dollars to undo the damage. Meanwhile, we could have our salaries garnished and lose our homes.

    Now the credit industry has the unmitigated gall to offer to protect us from identity theft for a monthly fee!! So, they charge us for protection from a threat that they themselves created. Does this remind anyone of Al Capone et al? He charged business owners protection money so that his thugs would not burn down their businesses or murder their customers. The credit industry is no better.

    Considering that the credit industry created the risk of identity theft, obviously they should provide totally free protection from the risk.

    Moreover, we are forced to use credit even if we neither need nor want credit. Unless we have a credit rating, we are over-charged for auto and home insurance. Without a credit rating, we may even be rejected from a job or turned down if we want to rent a home. It's a racket created by the credit industry, and they have us cornered.
     
  2. midlifebear

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    Welcome to 'Mericuh where the free market reigns.
     
  3. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    This is what concerns me the most about our nation's obsession with credit. When it prevents good people from being able to get a job or a roof over their head, then it impedes on the human necessities of life. Many good people simply made mistakes or got caught in the crossfire of a bad business deal, corporate layoff (or nationwide recession) that leaves their financial situation in a not-so-perfect condition. There's no distinction between those who are simply late with a payment or even those who find themselves not able to pay a bill due to an emergency, from those who frivolously max out several credit cards at Bloomingdale's with no intention of paying them. Credit card companies treat them all the same and administer the same harsh and seemingly overstepping rules on these people.

    What makes it worse is that credit card companies, knowing who are the most risk prone people to give credit cards to, intentionally target them because they know they have the potential to make more money from them through their crazy fees. That's why they infiltrate all of the college campuses with their shady deals and are willing to give credit to an eighteen year old with no credit history, while some people I know in their 60s who've had perfect credit all their life can't even get a credit extension so they can buy a house. My credit has never been perfect ever since the dot-com crisis and despite my continued efforts to repair and pay everything back I'm still considered to be a risk. So screw it. I've lived a life for the last 8-9 years without a single credit card in my name and I'll keep it that way. Less dramas and less issues. I won't even co-sign with someone who has good credit and my partner has offered to. Until there is real reform in the credit card industry, it's not worth the energy and the stress to deal with such crooked and disgusting corporations.
     
  4. midlifebear

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    I'm fortunate in that I do not have to buy anything on credit. If I want it, I have the cash -- or almost enough of it that if I wait another couple of months I will have the cash. And this really annoys many companies.

    But despite owning a large spread, two LLCs that have always been in the black with perfect credit, and using and American Express Card for ALL purchases (the Platinum Card covers me in sky miles I can use on almost any airline), and also never having been late and always paying off the full amount . . . well, the three credit bureaus have me rated as 800, 770, and 700. Experian noted that I only had a rating of 700 because I didn't carry enough unsecured debt. In fact, I only use a Visa card whenever a company does not take American Express. So, Experian penalizes me FOR NOT using my credit cards.

    It's a scam and a tragic one. But I doubt there's anyone on Earth who has perfect credit.
     
  5. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    All true.

    What's worse is that much data is stored or processed outside of the sovereign state, which means that the laws for breach can't even be applied there!

    Almost all of the early fines in the UK, up until a few months ago, were less than £500.

    Google still seems able to breach with impugnity.

    ICO revives probe into Google's data harvesting | Security | ZDNet UK
     
  6. FRE

    FRE
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    Very good comments on the thread I started; I hope that there will be more.

    I lived out of the U.S. for 10 consecutive years so naturally, I had no credit rating when I returned. I bought a new car and a house with CASH, but even so I did run into problems. Because I had no credit rating (which is obviously different from having a bad credit rating), I was overcharged for home and car insurance; there was nothing I could do about it. The insurance company insisted that their statistics indicated that a person with no credit was a poorer risk than a person with a good credit rating. My reason for having no credit rating made no difference; they were immune to logical arguments. And, the fact that I had paid CASH for a car and a house made no difference to them. It was assumed that having no credit rating indicated that I was financially irresponsible.

    The credit industry insists that everyone follow their dictates and rules in lockstep and they have ways to punish anyone who fails to do so.

    We should all be writing our senators and representatives about this, as well as writing the Consumers' Union.
     
  7. B_stanmarsh14

    B_stanmarsh14 New Member

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    Experian can especaly be bad with credit files and such like.

    I had cause to contact them, and the other 2 in the UK, to check my file, as I have not had anything that would warrent a credit check for over 6 years.

    Dispite Experian having their world HQ in Lenton Nottingham (Some 4 miles from my place), it took them almost twice as long as the other 2 credit ref agency's to get a copy of my report to me.

     
  8. Alex Chambers

    Alex Chambers Member

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    FRE--

    I think your post and the comments that have followed are good reasons why banks, credit bureaus, and the like should be required to provide their credit-worthiness forumulas so that we know how we are being scored. I have two credit cards, each with a low limit that I keep having to pay yearly membership fees for even though I haven't used the cards in years simply because I don't want to close such old accounts for fear of the havoc to my credit score if I do. Ridiculous.

    Consider running for elected office--you would get some votes.
     
  9. FRE

    FRE
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    Alex,

    I definitely agree. I unsuccessfully attempted to get the formula that the three credit reporting agencies use but was unable to do so. I was told that the formulae are available, but I couldn't find them.

    Recently I misread my American Express statement and concluded that everything was paid in full. When the next statement arrived, I found that I had a small balance. I also learned that even though I immediately paid that in full, I'd lose a few points on my credit rating. I can see why I'd lose points if I let it run another month without paying, but under the circumstances it seems unfair, especially because I did pay in full in addition to paying interest.

    It is essential for us to push to have this abusive system changed. Although there should be adequate incentives for people to be financially responsible, the present system is unacceptable. And, of course, we should not have to worry about identity theft.

    Way back in 1971, when I was a student, many of us were concerned that eventually using the social security number as a universal ID number would cause problems. It didn't at that time since computer technology and data storage technology were less advanced, but we realized that eventually it would be possible, by using the social security number, to retrieve confidential information on everyone in the country. Now it has happened, and it is the promiscuous use of social security numbers that makes ID theft such a serious problem. It should be illegal for companies to request, store, or use social security numbers for anything except tax purposes and social security. Although that would not totally eliminate the problem of ID theft, it would greatly help.
     
  10. FRE

    FRE
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    Stanmarsh,

    If we took as long to pay our bills as you had to wait to get your Experion credit rating, we'd be penalized. These companies do not hold themselves to the same standards that they expect of their customers. Also, it is practically impossible to contact some credit agencies.

    For years, I was losing points on my credit rating because I refused to pay a bill which I saw as unjustified. In 2005, I broke my leg while out of town. When I was being transfered from the hospital to a nursing home (where I was for the next 10 days), they used a wheel chair and failed to tell me that I'd be charged $75 for it, for which the insurance would not pay because they rightly considered it unnecessary. The wheel chair was used for only a few minutes, and I could have perfectly well used crutches at no cost. One of the three credit reporting agencies agreed that I should not have to pay for the wheelchair and adjusted my credit rating accordingly. The second agency insisted that the bill was justified, and I could not even contact the third agency. It was as though the third agency was totally automated and had no personnel.
     
  11. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    I've got a naughty admission to make here.

    I never thought that anyone had the right to hold such personal details about me - & share them without my consent.

    I've only ever filled in credit apps in store - & always got them to fill them in while I loosely signed. I've got multiple entities of myself floating around now, all apparently with different birthdates,& thanks to them also, different spellings.

    I've never defrauded (obtaining credit with the intention to defraud is the offence), or failed to pay once, but having moved several times, it does give me a certain satisfaction that most don't know who I am, or where I live - though obviously remembering it all...

    Take that Experian! Profile me now bitch!:wink:
     
  12. FRE

    FRE
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    I am so angry that I can hardly see straight.

    From TransUnion and Experian, I just received, as I requested, my credit reports. However, neither includes my credit score!! According to the reports, I am required to pay extra to get my credit score, about $8. As I see it, it's my score and I should be able to get it without paying for it.

    When I 'phoned TransUnion, I was not even able to speak to a person, so I don't know what I will do about them. When I 'phoned Experian, I was able to speak to a person. When I asked for my credit score, she told me that I'd have to pay to get it. I told her that I realized that it was not her fault since she did not establish company policies, but I was very angry because it was MY score and I should not have to pay to get it. I told her that it was a rip-off and that the company for which she was working was unfair and unethical. She said that she'd transfer me to her supervisor except that she had already left for the day, but that I could leave a voice mail. However, the supervisor's voice mail was not working, so she (the woman to whom I had been complaining) looked up my score and gave it to me. It was 915, but I'm not exactly sure what that means; perhaps someone can tell me.

    Presumably I will soon be receiving a report from the third rip of credit reporting agency and will be able to see what that looks like.

    I was disturbed to find that on both reports, there were numerous requests for information from companies with which I had never dealt, such as insurance companies and credit card companies. So apparently these credit reporting agencies provide personal information which is no one's business but mine. Presumably they somehow get my social security number to get the information, which means that my social security number is floating all over thereby greatly increasing the risk of identity theft.

    This is a very bad situation. Obviously we need federal laws to correct it.
     
  13. phillyhangin

    phillyhangin New Member

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    Credit scores were originally created with the good intention of providing a useful universal standard that lenders could use to help determine creditworthiness. We all know where the road paved with good intentions leads...

    Anymore, it's just another money-making racket, and unfortunately, it's perfectly legal. I had a case where I'd set up automated payments with a certain credit card company that would come right out of my checking account; these payments were for a fixed amount well in excess of my minimum balance due and they were scheduled to be withdrawn with plenty of time left before the due date. Well, the evil corporatist pig-dogs recalculated my minimum balance due (so that it was $5 above my scheduled payment) without notice, and they didn't bother to adjust my automated payment, so I wound up getting stuck with a $39 late fee on a $5 "late balance" - and because of that, my credit rating took a hit, and because of that, they deemed it necessary to charge me 28% interest (up from 14%) due to my "poor credit." This change without notice took place exactly one month before the new law that made such practices illegal came into effect.

    Evil corporatist pig-dogs! :mad:

    Where was I? Oh, yes... Part of the problem is that the law designed to protect consumers from these kinds of fraudlent practices had a six month delay (it might have been a year, I don't remember), giving the evil corporatist pig-dogs (ECPD's) plenty of time to engage in all sorts of scams before they became illegal. And since those scams conveniently weren't illegal at the time they were committed, oh, well, the victims will just have to deal with the consequences.

    And to add insult to injury, right after the law took effect, the ECPD's had the gall to send me a letter saying that due to the increased costs of providing credit under the new law, they would have to increase my rate from 28% to 30% "in order to maintain the same high standards of customer service that we currently provide."

    Evil corporatist pig-dogs! :mad:

    Oh, um... At any rate, they gave me the proper notice in advance, and that gave me enough time to transfer the entire balance of that card to another credit card, and I haven't used the ECPD card since. I haven't closed it though, because it's an older card with a long payment history - perfect except for that one issue that was their fault (and probably deliberate at that) - and it represents a large open line of credit. Your credit score incorporates the ratio of available credit to used credit and older credit lines have more weight, so I'm essentially keeping it open in order to avoid a sudden reduction in my available credit and another hit to my credit score.

    Did I mention - evil corporatist pig-dogs! :mad:
     
  14. B_crackoff

    B_crackoff New Member

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    If you want a good credit score, take out a new card, once a year (not more than that). Stick a whole heap of shit through it, but pay off before the interest kicks in. Owning a house, & a trackable ID help too.

    After a short time, yr credit available rockets. As long as the card has no annual charges, it's worth while.

    If you need a credit card to pay for things - your stuffed -it's addictive, & everyone lives beyond their means, paying fiat interest at exorbitant rates till they die. If you don't need a credit card, you don't have a credit rating, & are deemed worse than a guy $100k in hock.

    You only need to know your credit score if you are declined - so build up your profile, & you need never know it. The details on one database never wholly match the other anyway - & yes, it is a con.

    I paid off a card once, they charged a late fee, & then again & upwards till it was over $1,000, before I got the arbitration board to step in & say - yo! he paid!
     
    #14 B_crackoff, Mar 28, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  15. lucky8

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    Watch this little news clip, this shit is absolutely ridiculous

    FactFinder 12 follow up: "No excuses" for actions of Wichita company - kwch.com

    Add to that the BP laptop containing personal information from 15,000+ oil spill payout victims that was lost, I can't believe there are no laws protecting this confidential information. I'm sure this is just scratching the surface of an ever growing problem, and sadly, the lobbyists we elect are no match for the lobbyists these big corporations buy
     
  16. FRE

    FRE
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    Probably any attempt to enact laws to provide adequate privacy protection would be opposed by lobbyists for the credit industry.
     
  17. FRE

    FRE
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    I just succeeded in getting my credit score from Experian. According to their document, the lowest possible score is 501 and the highest possible score is 990. I do not understand that. According to information from other sources, the range is from 300 to 850.

    Can anyone explain this?
     
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