Identity Theft Tangle

Christian experienced identity theft, and there's about $5,000 left in debt that the guy ran up. Should Christian even waste his time in trying to clean up this debt?

QUESTION: Christian in Dallas experienced identity theft, and there's about $5,000 left in debt that the guy ran up. Should Christian even waste his time in trying to clean up this debt? Dave thinks he needs to continue to fight it.

ANSWER: I'd fight it. I'd get it cleaned up, because you don't owe it and it's wrong for it to be on there.

It's extremely frustrating. I'm not giving them a penny. You don't owe them a dime. Your identity was stolen. They need to get it through their thick heads. There's an advantage to cleaning this up, because there are other things your credit will be used for, like your car insurance, for instance. I'm not going to go get a credit score just for that purpose, but I'm also not going to allow negative things that have nothing to do with me to stay on my report. It's going to be a hassle.

The only other thing I can think of other than fighting it all the way through is Zander Insurance's identity theft protection program. The reason I chose to endorse them versus the other products out there was because they assign a caseworker to these deals who takes the case and cleans the mess up. All this crap you're going through now you don't have to go through. It's a little tough to buy homeowner’s insurance after your house has already burned down. You really can't buy identity theft insurance after your identity has been stolen. However, occasionally, they will do me a favor, and we'll ask them if they'll take your case. They have never—in the history of the company—had a case that they didn't clean up. That's a pretty good return.

Identity theft protection is so important. It's not because you owe any money when someone steals your identity, because you don't owe any money. The problem is the thousands of hours it takes for you to convince some idiot who doesn't care on the other end of the phone in a cubicle 500 miles away that this wasn't you. They don't care. All they want is money. They don't want to clean up the account. They don't want to do the right thing. They don't want to be moral. They don't want to do any of that. They don't care. That's the problem, and that's why there needs to be some regulation on something like this. I don't like regulations. I don't like laws being passed to straighten people up. I like the marketplace to punish people, but in this case, this is a group of people that is out of control.