Debt Tagging is a term used to describe when collectors target the wrong person for a debt and append that debt to their credit files. After years of trying to collect on a debt, collection agencies are often left with old outdated contact information. If you have a common name or one that is similar to who they are looking, your risk is higher and you could be tagged with another person’s debts.

If you are contacted and do not believe the debt is yours, ask for proof of the debt. Debt collection agencies are required under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to provide debtors with proof of the debt they are attempting to collect.

Next, check to see if you are covered with Identity Theft Protection by: your home owners, auto or other insurance policies, check with your bank, credit union or financial services or employee benefits. If covered, call their claims/customer service departments. If not covered, then obtain a credit report from all 3 bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian; so that you can verify whether or not the ‘debt’ has been appended to your credit file. If it has, then contact the credit bureau and work with their fraud departments to have it removed.