Victim of Identity Theft? We Can Help
If you have had your identity stolen, it can be an emotional rollercoaster. It’s important that you act quickly to control and reverse the damage. Our law firm can help sort through many of the legal issues that arise whenever your identity is stolen, like:
- Wrongful debt collections (FDCPA)
- Inaccurate credit reporting (FCRA)
- Unauthorized Transfers of Bank Funds (EFTA)
- Invasions of Privacy
You may have a right to sue both the source of the identity theft, as well as the creditors who fail to fufill their obligations to you as a a victim of identity theft. Congress has gone to great lengths to provide consumers whose identity has been stolen with a set of rights, but you’re going to need an experienced lawyer to enforce those rights. Call us today at (612) 379-8800 for help.
Basic Steps for Dealing with Identity Theft
- Change All Passwords. Immediately change all of your passwords on all financial accounts, brokerage accounts, retirement accounts, etc. Use complex passwords with special characters and upper and lower case. Change other passwords, too. Use different passwords for each site and don’t reuse or share those passwords. Also, enable MFA (multi-factor authentication) on your financial accounts right away to prevent access by identity thieves.
- Call the Police. Call the police and file a criminal complaint. This is essential, even if you don’t know the name of the identity thief. A police report and case number should always be issued. Insist on it from the local police department where you live. Don’t take no for an answer. Get a copy of the police report.
- Call Your Banks. Immediately contact every one of your banks, credit unions, and financial account holders (Paypal, Zelle, Schwab, etc.) and demand that they freeze your bank accounts and change the account numbers. Report all unauthorized transactions. Change your login passwords on all financial accounts in your name. It’s important that you report unauthorized transactions immediately since the longer you wait, the more potential financial liability you may have. That liability could be as much as $500 if you wait more than two business days to alert your bank. If you correspond with your bank, save clean copies of those emails or letters. Document carefully who you spoke to, date, time, and contents of the communication.
- File Identity Theft Affidavit. Go to IdentityTheft.gov and create a complete and accurate Identity Theft Affidavit and send copies to all your creditors. Complete and send a of the ID Theft Report and police report(s) you filed to every merchant that is attempting to collect a fraudulent debt from you.
- Dispute False Information with Credit Bureaus. Obtain complete current copies of all three of your major credit reports from Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Click here for instructions on getting these from AnnualCreditReport.com. Dispute any inaccurate information you find on these reports in writing or through the online system. Take screenshots of the dispute you file.
- Place Fraud Alerts. Contact each of the three credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit reports:
- TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; vvww.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division, PO Box 2000, Chester PA 19022-2000
- Equifax: 1-888-766-0008; www.equifax.com; PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
- Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; PO Box 9554, Allen, TX 75013
- Alert Chexsystems. Contact ChexSystems and tell them to place a fraud alert in their systems related to you, so that any person who tries to open an account using your identity will be flagged and you will be alerted first. www.chexsystems.com
- See if You Have Insurance Coverage. It’s important to check your renters, homeowners and/or AAA-type automotive insurance for identity theft coverage to see if you might have some coverage for your losses. Download a full copy of those policies and save them for us to review. Many insurance policies have this sort of coverage today, so it’s worth a check.
- Get Credit Monitoring. We recommend Experian’s CompleteID service, available through Costco.com for about $8 a month. It can be configured to monitor the Dark Web for your personal information and account numbers so that you know what’s at risk. It also allows you to get your current FICO scores and provides a variety of other information. There are lots of other options in this sector, but it’s important to get credit monitoring because the impacts of identity theft can last years.
- Keep Copies of Everything. Document everything that you do in writing. Take screen shots on your computer and save them. Date and sign anything you send out and keep a copy for your records along with any responses.
- Call Our Law Firm. Call our law firm and let’s talk. We may be able to bring claims against any bank that refuses to return your funds after you have disputed transactions, or any credit reporting agency that won’t fix your credit.
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