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I requested a free yearly credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com via the mail-in form. The form is mailed into the organization, and the organization submits the request to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

I received a reply from Experian stating I did not furnish proper identification (though the entire form was completed). They are now requesting:

  • Full Name (previously provided)
  • Social Security Number (previously provided)
  • Complete address for 2 years (previously provided)
  • Date of Birth (previously provided)
  • Copy of government issued ID card (newly requested)
  • Copy of a bank statement (newly requested)
  • Copy of a utility bill (newly requested)

I believe Experian is now asking me for additional information to fill in gaps in their database about me. They appear to really want my home address rather than the PO Box I use (right now, I suspect they have nothing or information so old its useless).

Experian cited the following from the Fair Credit Reporting Act:

A consumer credit reporting company shall require as a condition of disclosure that the consumer furnish proper identification.

I read the text of 15 USC § 1681 et seq, and I can't find that text in it. Further, the only similar text I found is in §610(a)(1), which requires proper identification for §609(g). §609(g) is "Disclosure of Credit Scores by Certain Mortgage Lenders"; and not for a free annual credit report.

I'm so angry at Experian for lying to me and disguising their phishing expedition/data gathering that I'm ready to walk into District Court, identify myself to the Judge, and ask for an order that Experian comply with 15 USC § 1681 et seq.

Question: what are my choices or options to obtain the credit report? (Sans providing bills (which I don't have), or providing my passport (which I won't provide)).


Here's the back story... I had to clean up a data breach in the 1990s. It cost me nearly $10,000 USD to fix. I did not know my information was lost or stolen until collection agencies came after me (after getting judgements against me).

I now live off-grid for the most part. I like being left alone, and don't want to be part of the corrupt system full of economic terrorists who bribe public officials. I don't use banks, I don't use credit, I don't subscribe to utilities, I use throw away phones, I use my passport as an ID, etc.

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    -1 for the ideology rant. If you remove all the gibrish about how you hate everyone and everything and just keep the question - you'll get better reaction from the healthy people. – littleadv Jul 9 '14 at 4:35
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    @littleadv - I don't hate everyone; I don't trust that system. Too big to jail should indicate that something is seriously broken. I'm not sure about the comment about healthy people. I have much more money than the "healthy people" with 3.7 credit cards, who carry an average balance of $8200 per card, and pay 13% to use their own money. It makes me wonder about other's mental health since they keep doing it. But I would question my own mental health if I "went back for more" after getting screwed for $10,000 the first time. – jww Jul 9 '14 at 6:18
  • I really don't know what happened to you with your $10K, but if you ever had a paper cut - would you stop using paper altogether? If you ever burned on hot water - would you stop taking showers? Your behavior is irrational and your ramblings show that you have an agenda. As to statistics... I do not think that an average American is a person of reference. Remember, you can drown in a 2 inch deep pool. On average. – littleadv Jul 9 '14 at 7:12
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    "Your behavior is irrational and your ramblings show that you have an agenda" - There's nothing irrational about my behavior. I'm a CompSci guy, and I learned from the past. But I do have an agenda. The agenda is to avoid being part of a broken and corrupt system. – jww Jul 9 '14 at 7:37
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    The problem is they aren't going to provide the report unless they're sure you really are you. That's why you are failing their authentication. – Loren Pechtel Jul 9 '14 at 23:54
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If you don't want to be part of the system - don't ask the system to provide you information. The system wants to identify you based on what it (the system) knows about you. It doesn't care about your ideology.

To the point - your request didn't match the information the credit reporting agency has about you, so they cannot be sure that the person asking the information is indeed you. They asked you to provide information that will show them a tie between you the person and you the requestor. If your name appears on the bill and matches the same address you asked to mail the form to - they'll see it as a sign that you're indeed the person receiving mail at that address. You obviously don't live in a PO box, so telling them that's your address is a lie and raises a red flag. Asking them to mail your personal protected information to the address other than the one you live at is also a red flag - especially since you've had a case of identity theft before. So you're now stuck: you need to prove them who you are, but you don't want to.

You can request the report online, but in your situation it is very probable that they will not be able to identify you online (being you living off the grid) and will ask you to mail in all that same info.

So back to the beginning - if you want to play, you play by the rules. If you don't want to play - don't play. If you think you can go to a district court and have a judge give you something - go for it. But I'm pretty sure the judge will want to see some ID first, as well.

  • Thanks @littleadv. I had a job offer withdrawn, so I'm trying to figure out why. I don't have any problems with the law, so I was kind of surprised (minor traffic about 10 or 12 years ago). I have to examine the report at this point in time. – jww Jul 9 '14 at 4:35
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    @jww You can always ask the employer. If they made a decision based on your credit report - they must tell you. – littleadv Jul 9 '14 at 4:36
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Although I disagree with littleadv's tone his answer is correct. If you believe the system is flawed and corrupt, then you should expect their behavior to be in line. So, you should simply disregard their "report" and move on. Your interest in this information is what gives it its validity.

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