MELVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island congressman is calling on the federal government to make sure people’s credit reports are not marred by the activity of identity thieves.

If you buy a car or a home, and you need a loan, one of the first questions you will be asked is your Social Security number.

But as WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, running that Social Security number may bring up some problems. Millions of people have had their identities stolen, and they may have bad marks on their credit reports because a thief opened an account and never made a payment.

“So your credit score goes down because something the thief did,” said U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) “We must make sure that credit bureaus are correcting those reports, and the federal government is compelling those corrections.”

Israel said people should check their credit reports on a regular basis. He also had some advice for anyone who has become a victim.

“They could go to, or just call my office (at 631-951-2210), and we will navigate this process for them,” he said.

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