What resources can you recommend for someone who has a person with a similar name's information showing up on their credit report? Essentially, two different people's credit reports are linked because they have the same last name, but the first names are spelled differently.

Hello Mistaken Identity,
Here are the steps you can take via www.creditcards.com
Send a letter to the debt collector. It's important that you respond, and old-fashioned snail mail is the best way to do it. That way, you stay in control, you can keep a copy and you have the dispute in writing. Keep the letter short & just write simple statements, such as 'I've never lived at that address,' or 'I've never used the services of Dr. Smith,' or 'I've never had that type of credit card.' Send a copy of your proof along with the letter.
Also ask for verification. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a debt collector is required to send you a written "validation notice" that includes the name of the original creditor. Send the letter by certified mail. Find a free debt validation letter template online.
If the problem persists, know your rights and options. In many cases, experts say, you can resolve the situation by convincing the debt collector that they have the wrong person. But sometimes the problem can persist, and you need to know your rights. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a debt collector cannot harass you, curse at you, lie to you, threaten to arrest you or keep contacting you after you've sent a letter disputing the debt (google for a debt dispute letter).
If you follow these steps, you'll have a good chance of resolving a case of mistaken identity by a debt collector with your sanity -- and your credit score -- intact.
Hope this helps.
Live richer,
The Budgetnista

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