Waking up one day and discovering you are thousands of dollars in debt, despite never having spent a dime, can be frustrating. It might also be disheartening if you discover that someone opened credit cards or took out loans under your name, ruining your credit score and making it nearly impossible to get approved for future financing.
Unfortunately, this scenario is too common. Identity theft and fraud are rising, affecting millions of people every year. However, by learning how to protect yourself and recognizing the signs of potential identity theft or fraud early on, you can take proactive steps toward keeping your personal information safe and secure.
What Is Identity Theft?
Identity theft occurs when someone steals and uses your personal information for their gain. It can be as simple as using your credit card number to buy something or as complicated as taking out a loan in your name. Whatever the case, identity theft is a serious problem that can cause financial distress and damage your reputation.
You can identify identity theft by looking for suspicious activity on your credit score or accounts. Watch out for strange emails or phone calls from people claiming to represent a bank or other institution. If you receive any items you did not order, such as credit cards, report them immediately.
Identity Theft and Inaccurate Credit Reporting
Identity theft is when someone steals another individual’s identity and uses it to make purchases, open credit cards, and accounts, or file tax returns. These crimes are on the rise, and people are wreaking havoc on the financial well-being of others at an alarming rate.
The risk of inaccurate credit reporting due to identity theft fraud is even more problematic. This can lead to a drained bank account, denied loan applications, false arrest warrants, and more. Acting quickly and contacting an identity theft attorney is vital in these cases.
What to Do if the Identity Theft Appears on My Credit Report
If you think that your identity has been stolen, here are some steps you can take:
- Contact your local law enforcement department and file a police report.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report identity theft and get help with recovery.
- Contact the three major credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion—and have them place a fraud alert on your credit accounts. This will flag any activity as suspicious and make it more difficult for a thief to open different accounts in your name.
- Contact creditors with inaccurate information about you and explain the situation while providing evidence that you did not open the account(s).
Get Help From our New York Identity Theft Attorneys Today
If you think you’re a victim of identity theft, get help as soon as possible. Often, identity theft victims need to contact various institutions to notify them and clean up their credit reports. This process can take a lot of time and energy.
Fortunately, the New York identity theft attorneys at Mizrahi Kroub LLP in New York are here to help. They are dedicated to helping you protect your personal financial property and pursue justice against those who commit these crimes. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
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