Soutwestern Bell Telephone Company (TEXAS) Complaint - So called "Identity Fraud"
ARLINGTON, TEXAS -- I was a good customer of SBC while living in Texas and moved with a paid in full account. Almost two years later (April, 2004) my credit report with Equifax reflected a collections notice, the first I've had. It was for $5,200 and showed the owner as SBC and the collection agency as Encore Receivable. I began the process of clearing this from my credit report, thinking it would take a few phone calls, letters, or emails. WRONG. Both companies immediately labeled this problem as Identity Fraud. However, I never received a bill and have not to this date. In addition the account was to a person with my name in St. Louis, MO, a place I've never lived. Also, there were none of the indicators of fraud. I believe either SBC or Encore made a mistake and somehow reported this to the credit organizations. Neither company had my SSN. I protested without luck to these companies that this was not identity fraud. One of them sent me a fraud packet, saying I should complete and mail. I sent one to each company. Most of the questions were irrelevant to my problem. I spoke to several people at both companies. With the exception of one individual, everyone was polite, but obviously didn't have the authority to help me. I been sent from each company back to the other. I consulted legal advice from ALTA and was told the company has thirty days to respond or clear my record. I have not heard from either company saying this was done. I have reported this to the FTC and written a letter requesting help from Senator Kay Baily Hutchinson. Her staff have not responded, but I expect they are on Christmas break. My real concern about this is that the companies apparently have more power if they call a mistake a fraud. Congress has made it so difficult for a lone consumer to rectify a blot on his/her credit report. If there is a group out there trying to work with people like myself, I would be glad to join. D Willis.