If you’re a victim of identity theft, an attorney can help. These professionals understand federal laws that protect consumers and how to hold financial institutions accountable. They can use these laws to refund stolen money, correct credit histories and remove unauthorized charges. They can also work to prevent further damage by leveraging their connections with financial entities and the police.
Disputes with Credit Reporting Agencies
You can get assistance from an identity theft attorney to challenge erroneous credit reports. They can act as a liaison between you and your financial institutions and prevent debt collection agencies from contacting you directly, saving you stress. A qualified identity theft lawyer understands the law surrounding these matters and can initiate litigation on your behalf if necessary. When you submit a dispute, include all backup documentation, including receipts, records, and screenshots. You should always send the letter by certified mail with a return receipt request. It will prove that the company received the dispute and is required to investigate. Additionally, this will demonstrate that you are serious and motivated to resolve the issue.
Filing a Police Report
While most incidents involving lost or stolen property or vandalism can be reported online, financial crimes, including identity theft, must be written in person at a police precinct. It can be done by visiting the precinct or calling the non-emergency number for your city or metro area to schedule an appointment. The next step in filing a police report is to provide a detailed account of the incident, typically including a list of items taken and any witnesses. You can file this report with the assistance of an identity theft attorney, which can help your case resolve faster. An experienced identity theft lawyer can work as a liaison between you and the police department to establish exactly what happened while working directly with creditors to prevent debt collection agencies from contacting you about fraudulent activity on your credit reports. It can greatly relieve victims, who often feel stressed and overwhelmed by these matters.
The Federal Trade Commission Complaint Process
Identity theft victims often suffer several financial consequences, including erroneous credit reports. A skilled identity theft lawyer can assist in determining the responsible parties and seek fair compensation for the damages incurred. Criminals who steal identities seek access to enough identifying information to impersonate someone else. It may include stealing a social security number to open new credit card accounts or draining existing ones. Federal consumer protection laws protect consumers against these crimes and unauthorized charges. To prove they are the victims of identity theft and ask that their accounts be frozen or their credit cards canceled, clients might use the assistance of an identity theft attorney to contact banks and creditors. They can also provide an ID Theft Affidavit to the companies in question.
Filing a Complaint with the State Attorney General
An identity theft lawyer can contact financial institutions on your behalf to close fraudulent accounts, place fraud alerts and a credit freeze. It prevents a criminal from opening new lines of credit and makes it difficult for debt collection agencies to contact you. An attorney can also help you file a complaint with your state’s consumer protection agency if the business refuses to cooperate. Your lawyer can write to the agency outlining the specifics of your situation and requesting that they act quickly to safeguard you. Complaints are typically public records and can be reviewed by anyone. The public nature of your complaint could prompt a business to resolve the issue sooner rather than later.
Taking Legal Action
In addition to removing unauthorized charges from credit cards and stopping thieves from opening new accounts in a victim’s name, an identity theft lawyer can help victims recover monetary compensation. It can include compensatory damages (compensating a victim for monies lost to the crime), punitive damages (intended to deter criminal conduct) and equitable relief, such as restitution. Victims must keep detailed records of all communications with businesses, creditors, and governmental agencies while reclaiming their identities. It can be useful later when it comes time to file a civil lawsuit based on a tort law theory. An attorney can also help a victim determine who to sue and under what legal theory.