Identify theft has become one of the most common cases of fraud, especially with our ever-changing technological advances. But what happens when someone opens multiple accounts in your name? This happens to be one of the hottest topics people talk About Michael Jeffcoat an attorney at law says.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft can quickly become a disastrous crime. Criminals target a person to obtain their personally identifiable information, such as names and Social Security number, or banking information, without their permission or knowledge. This is typically done so they can commit a series of fraudulent acts.
Identity thieves steal your information that can be used in many ways, and there are different reasons for the theft, such as making purchases with your credit card, renting an apartment, buying big ticket items, like automobiles, opening accounts for utilities, or opening revolving credit accounts, like store credit cards for their own purpose.
Often, victims learn that another person is using their identity when it is too late, like when they receive calls about collecting debts from collection agencies, or when they discover unauthorized charges on their monthly statement. Ramifications are almost always devastating, since you may even be denied a loan or a job because you have a negative credit history.
How Does Identity Theft Occur?
The FTC says it is very easy for identity thieves to steal your information. Most items that thieves target are Social Security numbers, banking information, and credit card numbers. The Federal Trade Commission says these are the most common ways thieves steal identities:
1. Waste collection. Thieves rummage through trash to find invoices or other documents that have personal information about you.
2. Duplication. Thieves take the numbers from credit or debit cards using hacking devices that they install in most places you’ll use your debit or credit card; this electronic device can record information when the card is processed.
3. Impersonation. Thieves act like an official institution or company, which send spam emails requesting personal information from you.
Victims who endure any of these maneuvers or worry about identity theft should file a report with the FTC, as well as inform financial institutions of any breach. Also, contact a lawyer to see what legal options you must repair the damage caused.
What Steps to Take about Identity Theft?
The first step to take is immediately file a police report. Then, verify the account statements of your credit cards and financial accounts, and notify your creditors. This will halt any further damage. You can also contact the credit bureaus and alert them about potential fraud. They can place an alert on your credit report.
While there are steps you can take if a thief has taken over your identity, it can be difficult to repair the damage. Many institutions will want concrete proof that someone else impersonated you, and the fight to clear your name can become complex. Thus, the reason you’ll probably require an attorney to offer guidance and navigate all the steps you’ll be required to take.