Identity Theft

What to do if someone steals your ID

Identity Theft: Debt collectors

A Publication of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse

6. Debt collectors.

If debt collectors try to get you to pay the unpaid bills on fraudulent accounts, ask for the name of the collection company, the name of the person contacting you, phone number, and address.

Tell the collector that you are a victim of fraud and are not responsible for the account. Ask for the name and contact information for the referring credit issuer, the amount of the debt, account number, and dates of the charges.

Ask if they need you to complete their fraud affidavit form or whether you can use the FTC affidavit. Follow up by writing to the debt collector explaining your situation. Ask that they confirm in writing that you do not owe the debt and that the account has been closed.

Under new provisions in the FCRA, a debt collector must notify the creditor that the debt may be a result of identity theft. (§615(g))

The FCRA also prohibits the sale or transfer of a debt caused by identity theft. (§615(f)) For additional information on dealing with debt collectors, read our Fact Sheet 27, which has a section for victims of identity theft at



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What to do if

You apply for a credit card and are turned down because of a low credit score, yet you know that you’ve always paid your accounts on time. A debt collector calls to demand payment on a six-month overdue account for a credit card you have never had... Read More