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Stolen Identity Blocks New Job

photograph from Law & Government story

(2/13/2006)

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A young woman was having trouble getting a credit card. She was rejected many times. Then she applied for a new job. She was turned down again. Then the reason became clear. She had become the victim of identity theft. She found out that three different people were using her Social Security number. She discovered this when she applied for a job at a new Target store.

Some employers are checking credit reports before they hire people. They also use background checks. When Target checked on the woman’s credit history, they found a problem. Target did not hire her. But the law said that they had to tell her why. They told her she was a fraud risk.

A lawyer who specializes in workplace law said that credit reports help employers hire good people. The reports help weed out dishonest or unreliable job applicants.

Now the woman knows about her identity theft. She can solve her problem. She must order copies of her credit reports. The she must make corrections and send them back. A law says that the three major credit bureaus must give people credit reports for free. They have to do this once per year. Consumers can order these reports online.

The woman may have some good news. Target told her they would reconsider her for the job. She has to give them a letter from the Social Security office. The letter should verify who she is. She may be able to get a job after all.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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