NBC 6 Responds Helps Man Fight to Erase Thousands in Bogus Charges - NBC 6 South Florida
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NBC 6 Responds Helps Man Fight to Erase Thousands in Bogus Charges

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 6 Responds Helps Man Fight to Erase Bogus Charges

    A man says years after his personal information was compromised following a data breach he is still fighting bogus charges. Consumer Investigator Sasha Jones reports what it’s taken to fight the fraud.

    (Published Monday, June 10, 2019)

    Franco Caliz-Aguilar says two years ago after a large data breach was revealed, fraudulent accounts started popping up on his credit report. He thought he caught all of them and had it under control, but just this year he got a large credit card bill that he says wasn't his.

    "That's when I saw that someone had a bunch of new credit cards under my name," Caliz-Aguilar said.

    Caliz-Aguilar says he tackled the issue head on. In 2017, he reviewed his credit report, put a freeze on his credit, and hired a company to seek out and close fraudulent accounts.

    "When you start to see your credit, report go back to normal was a really big one too," Caliz-Aguilar.

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    It seemed to work until March of this year.

    "My first thought was oh no, not this again," Caliz-Aguilar said.

    He got a letter from a law office representing Bank of America notifying him that he owed more than $7,000 for an overdue credit card account. An account he says he knew nothing about. So, he says he contacted Bank of America and the law firm.

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    He says he found out the account was opened using his name and social security number, but the address, email, and phone number were not his. He also discovered a checking and savings account were opened under his name using the same information.

    He disputed the accounts and sent copies of documents with his correct address and documents showing his personal information was fraudulently accessed, including a police report.

    In May, Bank of America sent him this letter saying, "After a thorough review, it's been determined that statements were mailed to you and payments were made." It went on to say, "You'll be responsible for any balance."

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    Caliz-Aguilar called NBC 6 Responds for help.

    "I didn't know what you could do for me, but it was more hopeful than anything else at that point," Caliz-Aguilar said.

    We emailed Bank of America and attached the same documents he previously submitted.

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    "I heard back from them within 48 hours. It was immediate turn-around," Caliz-Aguilar said.

    Over the phone, a Bank of America spokesperson told us they reached out to Caliz-Aguilar directly about his claim and got additional documents. Caliz-Aguilar told us within days he got a call from a bank representative notifying him all three accounts were fraudulent and he was no longer responsible for the $7,000 credit card bill.

    "I am fine, but what about the next person that comes along that this happens to," Caliz-Aguilar said.

    A Bank of America spokesperson recommends that consumers regularly review their credit report and report discrepancies with credit agencies and financial institutions.

    In Caliz-Aguilar's case, he says these accounts never showed up on his credit report and he is still working to find out why.

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