The Federal Trade Commission reported in March that in 2012, the agency received almost 370,000 reports of identity theft. This number represents some 90,000 more than in 2011, and is the highest volume of complaints the FTC has ever reported. Debt collection issues were the second most highly reported complaints, but they were a distant second.
Besides compromising the victim’s immediate financial situation, identity theft can also ruin their credit rating. Scams abound; there are many ways for unscrupulous people to steal and use people’s identity information. But there are ways to protect yourself. Staying on top of your credit report will catch problems before they become personal disasters. Many banks, insurance companies, and credit card providers offer identity theft programs to help protect people, and repair the damage after a privacy invasion.
The first thing to do after discovering your identity’s been stolen, is to to alert any of your creditors that are involved. Then file a police report, and then contact the FTC. The FTC doesn’t step in with individual complaints, but the more information they have, the easier it is to spot patterns of illegal activity—and then they’ll intervene. After you’ve reported the fraud to these different groups, review your credit reports carefully (get copies from all three credit reporting agencies); search for any suspicious personal information, and for transactions you don’t recognize.
Keep track of everything you do after the theft, so you can review the whole process, from discovery to (hopefully) resolution—this will be useful should a lawsuit develop. You have legal rights after an identity theft, including the right to block fraudulent information from your credit report; dispute bad information on your credit report; stop creditors and debt collectors from reporting fraudulent accounts; recieve copies of all documents related to the theft of your identity, and stop debt collection agencies from contacting you.
The goal is to have a clean credit report containing only accurate information. False information leads to denied credit (and unfortunately, employment), refused insurance, higher fees and interest rates, and other unpleasant consequences. If you think your rights to accurate credit reports and honest financial standing have been comprised, contact Agruss Law Firm, LLC, at 312-224-4695 for a free consultation. Agruss Law Firm, LLC, will handle your personal injury case quickly, will advise you every step of the way, and will not hesitate to go to trial for you. Lastly, Agruss Law Firm, LLC, does not get paid attorney’s fees unless we win your case. Our no-fee promise is that simple. Therefore, you have nothing to risk when you hire us–just the opportunity to seek justice.