OFAC Alert

What’s an OFAC Alert?  What’s a SDN List?

It’s been reported that some people have had an OFAC Alert – notations on their credit reports that indicate they may be a terrorist, arms dealer, or drug trafficker!

That happens if your name is on the Treasury Department’s SDN list (Specially Designated Nationals).

The SDN list is a list of individuals and companies owned or controlled by, or acting for or on behalf of, targeted countries.

The OFAC is the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  It’s part of the Treasury Department in Washington.

Who are the “targeted countries”?  Cuba, Iran, Libya, Sudan, the Western Balkans, Burma (Myanmar), Iraq, North Korea, and Zimbabwe.

The OFAC is using “interdiction software” to determine if a credit applicant is on the SDN list.  If there’s a match, they place an “Alert” on your report.Credit ReportUsing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) you can get the alert off, but you have to contact the credit reporting agency or bureau that issued the credit report.

Lenders might think it’s easier to just check a credit report, instead of looking through a SDN list that could be hundreds of pages.  Although it should be the lender’s duty to check the list before denying someone credit, consumer advocates are saying that credit reporting agencies should make sure credit reports are accurate.

The credit bureaus should also let people know they’ve been “Red Flagged”, and allow you to formally dispute and get the false information removed.

This FTC website has information on the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Needless to say , this has upset and confused a lot of people.  If you have any personal experience with this, submit a comment below.


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