Anyone with a decent credit history fears having his or her good name tarnished. We hear stories of other people’s credit problems finding their way onto our credit reports. We’re familiar with data breaches that expose our private details to criminals. But the scariest form of identity theft is true name fraud, in which someone opens credit accounts using your name and personal details.
Some people don’t worry much about true name fraud, believing that a little bit of legwork will clean up the problem. Certainly the credit reporting agencies will know that you are you and that the identity thief is not you, and everything will be corrected. A little proof provided to the credit card companies will show that you did not open the account, and the debt will be removed from your name, right?
Not necessarily. People often estimate the amount of time and effort it may take to clear their name when they are the victim of identity theft. And issuers of credit might not be very patient, sometimes using strong-arm tactics to get you to pay debts that you didn’t really incur.