Wednesday, July 06, 2005

3 Major Reasons to Know What Minor "Blacklists" Hold on You


Check verification and tenant screening
services are similar to consumer "blacklists".

They can materially impact your ability to:

  1. open a bank account
  2. cash a check
  3. rent an apartment

In addition to these well-established consumer
"blacklists," the Justice Department recently gave
approval to phone companies to start their own
clearinghouse.

Which means consumers who don't pay their bills on
time will be reported to these "blacklists".

So, for victims of identity theft you could
unknowingly already be on one of these "blacklists"
which can create a negative impact for when the next
time you want to cash a check, open a new bank
account, or rent a new apartment.

Because these services are not widely known within the
general public, false and negative information may be
on file with these companies without your knowledge.
Even more dangerously, you could be a victim of
identity theft and not know this for an extended
period of time.

One common way many identity theft victims eventually
find out they've been "black listed" is when they're
shopping with one of the more than 85,000
retailers and stores which use the services
of the 22 largest check verification companies that
approve -or- disapprove a check based upon an
individual's check-writing history
compiled from a number of sources.

Or, also when a consumer is evaluated for a new
account opening decision at the bank.

For today's tip, we recommend consumers should inquire
to verify you are not among the listed as credit
problems.

Consumers should report false and inaccurate
information to the check verification companies
as the merchants who supply them information have an
obligation to complete an investigation to present
results within 30 days. Those results can be
presented to the consumer -or- to the check
verification company.

For starters, here's a list of check verification
companies to verify your personal identity is correct:

CheckRite
(800) 766-2748
http://www.checkrite.com/

ChexSystems
Consumer Relations (800) 428-9623,
(800) 328-5121
(regarding closed checking accounts only)
Attn: Consumer Relations
12005 Ford Road - Suite 600
Dallas, TX 75234
Fax: (214) 241-4772

CrossCheck, Inc.
(707) 586-0551
(800) 552-1900
6119 State Farm Drive
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
http://www.cross-check.com

National Processing Company
Merchant Services
(800) 526-5380
(502) 364-2000
http://www.npc.net

TeleCheck
(800) 366-2425
http://www.telecheck.com

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