When Your Credit Report is Pulled by Unauthorized People
Your credit report is absolutely a private document. It contains sensitive information about your financial standing and your financial history. It is maintained by credit bureaus but you a right to keep its confidentiality. It can be accessed only by someone who is specifically permitted by you. A few law enforcement agencies can also pull it. No one else is allowed to view it.
However, sometimes people access it without any authorization for fraudulent purposes. For example, insurance companies may pull it to find out whether you are financially weak to accept a low settlement offer. Lenders may try to view it to find out whether you qualify for a loan even before your application goes to them. Some agencies may access it to find out your shopping habits and your spending patterns. All these attempts are illegal and there is a law to punish such people.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is there to protect you. If any organization or an individual attempts to get a copy of your credit report without a legitimate reason or for wrongful purposes, such offenses are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment up to one year.
How to locate such people?
You should be able to find out who has accessed your credit report by reading carefully the report itself. In your report you will find names of all the organization or individuals who have pulled your report. You will come to know easily who has done it without your permission or illegally.
Once you come to know about such incidence, you should contact such organization or individual in writing and ask them why their name appears on your credit report. Sometimes it may be a genuine mistake. However, in most of the times it is a deliberate attempt to harm your financial life. In such circumstances you may not even get a reply to your letter.
If you are sure that your report is pulled out by such people without your permission or for no apparent reason, you should see a lawyer. You are rightfully entitled for compensation against such violation of your rights even though there is no direct damage consequent to such unauthorized access. You are also entitled to punitive damages and all out of pocket expenses like fees of your lawyer from such fraudulent people.
So you should regularly check your credit report. If you find someone accessing your report fraudulently, be assured that the law is on your side to protect you.