The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports,
Sandra Cortez went to buy a new car on her lunch break, and about an hour later, the Denver dealership staff was threatening to call the FBI to haul her away as a suspected terrorist.
The dealership’s routine check of Cortez’s credit report turned up something unusual on that day in 2005. It was an alert indicating that the woman was on a government list of suspected terrorists, international drug traffickers and others associated with weapons of mass destruction. . . .
The credit report Cortez had seen long before she walked into the dealership was clean. She had excellent credit, and she had no inkling that she was linked to a Colombian woman with a similar name wanted for drug trafficking. But like so many other consumers, Cortez didn’t realize that the credit reports issued to businesses are not the same as those given to consumers.
The ordeal engulfed the grandmother for the next five years. Her many attempts to fix the problem with TransUnion and the federal government on her own all failed. Cortez pleaded with the credit-reporting agency to correct her credit history but received no help.
She eventually sued TransUnion and won, only to have her $750,000 jury decision reduced to $150,000 by a judge, and then . . .
The government took a third of it in taxes.