Verizon Obtain Credit Reports with No Permissible Purpose Class Action

Consumer credit and background reports are being used more and more often these days, not only when consumers apply for credit, but also when they apply for a job or apply to rent an apartment. However, companies must have a valid reason to request such reports. The complaint for this class action alleges that Verizon Communications, Inc. requests credit reports even when the consumer has not applied for anything with it. The complaint alleges that this is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

The FCRA Impermissible Purpose Class is all persons in the US who never authorized Verizon to open an account, who had a credit inquiry performed on his or her credit by Verizon without any permissible purpose, between December 17, 2014 and the date of final judgment in this action. 

Verizon specializes in communications and technology, operating through a number of subsidiaries, including Verizon wireless. It’s not surprising that a company might review a prospective customer’s credit report when the person is applying for a wireless account. 

However, the complaint alleges that the company places credit inquiries for individuals who are not Verizon customers and have not applied for anything. This means that “Verizon[] routinely and regularly obtains the credit reports of these individuals without any permissible purpose.” The FCRA does not permit this.

Plaintiff Scott Matthews was giving his credit report a routine review when he saw that Verizon had performed a credit inquiry on him on September 10, 2018. Matthews has no relationship with Verizon, had never applied for an account with it, and had never given the company authorization to perform such an inquiry. 

Even worse, he received a letter from Verizon on September 25 of that year telling him that a Verizon Wireless account had been opened in his name. 

The complaint reproduces online postings from other consumers with similar stories. Apparently, it can be a difficult and time-consuming process to convince Verizon that these accounts were opened by someone else and/or that they are fraudulent.

Also, “Verizon purportedly has (or is supposed to have) safeguards in place to ensure that fraudulent accounts are not opened in another person’s name[,]” the complaint says. “These safeguards should include … the presentation of photo identification, and a process to ensure that an entirely different individual with a similar or identical name to a prospective customer does not have his or her credit pulled.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Consumer

Most Recent Case Event

Verizon Obtain Credit Reports with No Permissible Purpose Complaint

December 17, 2019

Consumer credit and background reports are being used more and more often these days, not only when consumers apply for credit, but also when they apply for a job or apply to rent an apartment. However, companies must have a valid reason to request such reports. The complaint for this class action alleges that Verizon Communications, Inc. requests credit reports even when the consumer has not applied for anything with it. The complaint alleges that this is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

verizon_improper_access_to_credit_info_compl.pdf

Case Event History

Verizon Obtain Credit Reports with No Permissible Purpose Complaint

December 17, 2019

Consumer credit and background reports are being used more and more often these days, not only when consumers apply for credit, but also when they apply for a job or apply to rent an apartment. However, companies must have a valid reason to request such reports. The complaint for this class action alleges that Verizon Communications, Inc. requests credit reports even when the consumer has not applied for anything with it. The complaint alleges that this is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

verizon_improper_access_to_credit_info_compl.pdf
Tags: FCRA, Failure to provide proper notice and/or obtain proper authorization, No permissible purpose for request for report, Unauthorized Accounts