It is not uncommon to find an unknown collection account on your Equifax report. It is actually estimated that more than 20 million reports have an error serious enough to affect the outcome of a loan that they are interested in receiving from a creditor. These errors are due to the massive amounts of data that are inputted and removed by the bureaus.
Their main focus is selling your file to lenders, while the task of making sure the file is accurate lays in your hands. The first step to having inaccurate accounts removed is to "dispute" the entry with the bureau reporting the negative. You can do this by mail in a simple but straightforward letter saying the account is "not mine".
You want to instruct them to investigate the account with the creditor. This MUST be your first step … most people get this wrong by contacting the credit first! Keep in mind that this type of letter to the bureau is your right according to the fair credit laws. You should hear back from them no later than 30 days from the day your letter arrives at their office. Equifax will let you know the outcome of their investigation in writing.
If they claim that the outcome of their investigation proves the account is accurate, that's the point you want to contact the creditor asking them for their "method of verification". They are to provide you with the details of how theyave verification to the bureaus that the information was accurate.