Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the number of identity theft incidents reached 9.9 million in 2003. These crimes are estimated to have taken the average victim $500 and 30 hours to resolve. Use these tips for identity theft protection.
From stolen credit cards to total identity kidnapping, these ugly and prevalent crimes are hard to prevent and often difficult to correct. Although it is hard to truly avoid becoming a victim of Identity Fraud, Learn what to do when you are a fraud victim.
Types of identity theft
Identity theft crimes range from purse snatchings to kingpin-style fraud rings. The definition of identity theft is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personal information, such as a Social Security number, in order to impersonate someone else. Identity theft can occur when someone takes your mail, steals your wallet or swipes your records from an institution. Most cases can be resolved fairly easily if they are caught early. Creditors and banks usually hold you responsible for only the first $50 of fraudulent charges. The most serious cases of fraud can take several years and many resources to resolve.
Identity Theft Protection and Preventative Measures
In this world of smiling strangers, it can be tough to keep your identity safe. The best security policy is to be aware of fraud and cautious about where you share personal information. Check your account statements carefully each month and keep an eye out for suspicious activity on your credit reports – Get yours Here. A paper shredder can also be a powerful tool for making sure personal information and pre-approved credit offers don’t end up in the wrong hands.
Becoming a victim of identity theft is something no one plans for. But the fact is it will happen to a large number of people. If you become a victim of identity theft, be sure to consult with an identity theft lawyer.
If your identity is stolen
If you suspect that your identity has been stolen, the first step is to get all the facts about the damage. Become your own detective-search your credit history. Ask your creditors to immediately cancel any fraudulent charges and consider putting a security alert on your credit report. If the theft is serious, file a police report. If fraudulent records start to show up on your credit report, send letters of dispute to the reporting agencies with copies of documentation supporting your claim. Signing up with a Credit Monitoring Service will inform you of changes to your credit. It may take a while to fully recover the security of your accounts, but it’s crucial that you don’t let the fraud escalate.
If you believe you are a victim of identity theft, contact a lawyer immediately.
The fastest way to stop the damage of this crime is to work with an identity theft lawyer. They are experts in their field and know exactly what measures need to be taken so that they can prevent any further consequences. The laws surrounding financial and personal information crimes change constantly, so working with one of these professionals ensures that all of the necessary steps are being taken to correct the issues that may affect future credit or financial transactions.
Identity theft attorneys specialize in understanding not only the legal circumstances surrounding identity theft, but also the financial and emotional repercussions. Because these professionals work with many victims, they are sensitive to the urgency of identity theft. They know where to look for clues and how to discover trails so that all of the implications of the crime can be revealed and rectified. Identity theft can affect a person’s ability to get a home, buy a car and can even prevent students from receiving much needed financial aid or grant money. Credit issues are probably the most common issues that result from identity theft. Identity theft lawyers will help draft “credit dispute letters” so that credit blemishes related to the fraud can be repaired and removed. The consequences of identity theft are far reaching and identity theft lawyers are skilled at getting into every possible area that might be affected.
Click to read about your state’s statute on identity theft.