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The Resource Center Credit Fraud & Credit Monitoring | article

A Model Citizen On The Outside, A Wanted Man On Paper

credit report monitoring

In 2006, Charlie W. was a hard-working businessman running a successful content management company in Lafayette, Colorado. He managed accounts for huge clients, including government agencies like the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC). Outwardly, Charlie appeared to be a model, law-abiding citizen.

The First Sign of Trouble

While coming back from a vacation to Mexico in 2004, Charlie was detained by immigration authorities because of outstanding warrants for his arrest. Charlie argued that all of these incidents took place in parts of the country he had never even been before.

After officials determined that he was not the individual they were looking for, Charlie was released. Once he was freed, he put the whole ordeal behind him and didn’t think much of it.

Two Years Later

Two years after the incident in Mexico, Charlie’s accountant teamed up with a credit monitoring company and recommended that he take advantage of the services. When reviewing Charlie’s credit report and criminal record, the hardworking, law abiding citizen that Charlie claimed to be, was on paper a dangerous and prolific criminal.

  • He had arrests filed with the police in three states.
  • Charlie’s Social Security number had also been used numerous times to open up lines of credit and take out loans.
  • He had a collection agency demanding payment for a hospital visit he has allegedly made after car accidents in Florida and Washington.

Now A Wanted Man

The warrants for his arrests were due to his absence at court proceedings. But Charlie didn't know about the proceedings and didn't commit the crimes. One of Charlie's biggest clients, the DOC, did a background check after signing him on as their account manager. When the DOC saw the warrants, they not only fired Charlie, but had him arrested.

The credit monitoring company and Charlie’s accountant were able to team up and provide proof that he was in fact innocent, so Charlie was freed.

Clearing His Name

It took him much longer to clear his name and rebuild his credit score. The majority of the crimes and debts accrued in Charlie’s name took place in the period between his initial detainment returning from Mexico to his arrest in 2006.

If he had joined up with a credit monitoring program after his first run-in with the authorities, he may have been able to prevent the incidents that followed.