Please click here to visit my razoo.com fundraising page or use the widget at right.
Online fundraising platform Razoo launched a new DonateAnywhere widget this month and I’m excited to be selected to the #ZooGooder team of a dozen or so chosen to lead a series of discussions on fundraising in the digital age of social media.
In addition to these weekly chats, I chose to raise funds for One Economy Corporation with a goal of raising $8,000 by the end of the year. Not an easy choice given the breadth of my endeavors and pet projects and the 1.5 million or so fundraising causes listed on razoo.com. But after much internal deliberation and debate (and cross-research on sites like Charity Navigator) I decided that One Economy will have the most effective global reach with the money I raise as part of the #zooGood campaign. One Economy brings broadband into low-income households and builds and maintains virtual and physical community centers to provide underserved communities the training and tools needed to leverage the internet for information and local resources on education, jobs, health care and other vital issues.
More about One Economy in the video below:
This is a cause that I have long been passionate about and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to focus on it more publicly in the coming months. One Economy Corp is a top (4-star) rated charitable organization according to Charity Navigator and it has been expanding its geographic focus areas over its 10-years to cover the Middle East, Africa, and North America. More recently, One Economy launched PIC.tv, the Public Internet Channel website, which has boundless potential that I find very exciting as a long-time web producer and content creator myself.
So let’s see if we can hit $8,000 in two months, while helping to bolster One Economy Corp’s profile as a leading charitable protagonist for leveling the playing field, proliferating the spread of broadband and computer ed into underserved communities, and creating opportunities and local resources in cities and villages worldwide.
I’m dropping my first $10 in the bucket and you can too — the widget is on the right side of this blog. Your support is greatly appreciated – if you’d rather not donate money, thanks for reading this far and for your generous re-Tweet and/or Facebook share! You can also fan One Economy on Facebook and check out the Digital Connectors page (some of whom met recently with FCC chairman Julius Genachowski in SF).
Finally got thru to Experian (the number for disputes that worked was 1 800 208 9232) and cleared 21 accounts from my credit report that weren’t mine as well as at least a dozen addresses where I never lived. The woman on the phone confirmed that “this happens all the time.” These computers are made by humans, she said. Sounds like you really need some new computers, or an overhaul of your IT staff, I rebutted.
All in all, I was only concerned about this until I realized that the issue didn’t exists on either my TransUnion or Equifax credit reports. If anything, it only felt bizarre to know so much about another’s credit history and status — in this case, a married woman my age with two mortgages and a couple credit cards with nearly 100k in combined balances (among 18 other open accounts).
I had no luck disputing via FreeCreditReport.com as Experian’s site appeared to not be functioning for many days. However, I began the process again thru TransUnion’s TrueCredit.com site.
I was appalled to find out that not only am I being charged monthly for a service — FreeCreditReport.com (billed as CIC*TRIPLE ADVANTAGE) — that I don’t use but that according to Experian, my SS# and credit history is apparently tied to one ANDREA LAVELLE, also known as Andrew C. Sternberg, and born in 1964 (my actual year of birth is 1975). Only one of three addresses listed are mine and among my supposed debts are a quarter-million dollars in real estate assets (I’ve only rented — never owned).
UPDATE JUNE 6: Finally got thru to Experian (the number for disputes that worked was 1 800 208 9232) and cleared 21 accounts from my credit report that weren’t mine as well as at least a dozen addresses where I never lived. The woman on the phone confirmed that “this happens all the time.” These computers are made by humans, she said. Sounds like you really need some new computers, or an overhaul of your IT staff, I rebutted.
UPDATE: I discovered that indeed one Andrea Lavelle does work at Antioch Tire in Antioch, IL — at the very address listed on MY Experian credit report. Thanks to some Google searching and a call to my purported identity thief’s workplace, I know when she’ll be in the office — but I don’t know who to send (or if there might be a third party involved whose hijacking both of our identities). Guess I’ll call the FTC in the morning.
Upon calling FreeCreditReport.com customer care I was instructed to file a dispute on the website, however, when disputing the first thing listed (the address) i was told that their online disputing system is currently unavailable. I then asked, no, demanded to know why two unknown addresses as well as several assets that aren’t mine are listed on this record which is supposedly based on my social security number. Fill out this form is all I was told. And they will e-mail you. Well the second form didn’t get me anywhere as you can see from the error message below.
So, HOW can I find out what’s up with this BS on my credit report? Is this a bug on Experian’s end (owner of FreeCreditReport.com and issuer of my inaccurate credit report) or has someone who goes by Andrea Lavelle been piggybacking on my credit for better and/or worse? For the record, my credit score according this report is fine, so I have yet to be adversely affected by this mystery (as far as I know).