Have you received a call from a bank, asking you to repay a two wheeler loan or a personal loan you never availed? Perhaps pay up credit card dues on a credit card, you never took? …. You need to check if you are a victim of identity theft. Fraudsters submit false contact information while applying for loans. Personal loans account for the highest number of such cases, followed by credit cards.
If a fraudster applies for a personal loan, two wheeler loan or a credit card in your name (using your identity), with a bank or a lender, you have been subject to identity theft. The fraudster will of course…not repay the loan. The bank or the recovery agent will call you, asking you to pay back the loan.
If you don’t pay back the loan, your credit score is affected and you could even be labeled a loan defaulter. You have to suffer the consequences for no fault of yours….
You must apply for your credit information report (CIR), from a credit bureau such as cibil. You need to check your credit report at least once in 6 months. You need to check and see if all the loans shown in the credit information report, are in your name. If you find a loan in your credit information report which you have not availed, you are a victim of identity theft.
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The first thing you must do if you are a victim of identity theft, is to record the loan as a disputed loan (consumer dispute), with the bank or the credit bureau. You need to state that this loan does not belong to you. You then ask the bank to show proof (documentation), that you have availed the loan. If the signature on the loan documents are not yours, then this is proof that you have not availed the loan. The bank would remove the loan from your name and show it as a fraud. However till the bank removes the loan from your name, it still reflects in your credit information report and affects your credit score.
You need to report the disputed loan (consumer dispute), with the bank or the credit bureau and follow it up till the issue is resolved. The Credit Information Companies Resolution specifies that the dispute needs to be resolved within 30 days. Within the disputed period, you can ask for a comment to be placed in your credit information report, stating the underlying information is disputed. If a bank or any lender checks the credit information report during this period, it will show up as a disputed transaction. You can demand that the comment be placed by the bank or the credit bureau, since you are not at fault.
Ask the bank to check CCTV footage, to show if you were present at the bank branch, when the disputed transaction took place. The bank must also verify the signature on the cheque and the loan documents. If the signature on the cheque and the loan documents are not yours, the loan becomes the bank's responsibility.
If you are a victim of identity theft on a loan, just relax. You know how to get out of this trap.
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