Identity Theft occurs on a daily basis and can cause serious financial problems.
If you’re a victim of identity theft or suspect you may be a victim, you need to react to the crisis. It won’t get any better by itself. I would recommend, as a good start, the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has a good resource that consumers can use to understand the situation. See Federal Trade Commission website. But it can be complicated. The laws are written not to protect the consumer, but to protect the system and keep the system running like a well oiled machine. In order to exercise your right to seek recovery from those corporations that are responsible for the victimized consumers, you must navigate a set of rules and a system that makes no sense. Common sense tells you that you inform the company that the account isn’t yours, submit proof and of course they would agree and correct the situation. Does this work, yes, but not always. When your situation is too complicated, we are here to help. How do you know when it’s too complicated? The answer? When you need to ask yourself that question. If you feel that you’re at wits end and they just won’t get it right, feel free to contact us.
Signs of Identity Theft
Identity theft can manifest itself in a number of different ones. It is possible that you maybe a victim of identity theft, if you have experienced any of the following:
- Unknown credit accounts have popped up on your credit report.
- Your credit report lists an alias name or address that you have never used.
- Debt collectors have started sending you collection notices for accounts you do not have.
- Companies that you have not done business with or applied to for credit have been looking at your credit report.
- You no longer receive credit card, bank, or utilities statements.
- You have been receiving mail or pre-approved credit offers with someone else's name at your home or office.
- There are credit cards or loans that you didn't open listed on your credit history.
- You have received bills, statements, or other account information in the mail relating to accounts you didn't open.
But don’t panic at this point, because any of the above in one form or another, may just be a common mistake or error of some sort. In most instances you cannot know for certain if you have been a victim of identity theft until you reviewed the relevant documentation concerning the mistakes. The credit providers (banks, financing companies, etc.) regularly make mistakes about the identity of their own customers, including their social security numbers, names, and other identification information. And credit bureaus regularly make credit report errors, confusing consumers with each other, mixing and merging credit information inappropriately, and attributing credit information to people who have no relation to the accounts in question. This happens more than you think! But most honest providers and honorable credit bureaus will correct those mistakes with a simple phone call or letter.
What is not recommend (unless you have conclusive proof) is for consumers to sign an "identity theft affidavit" or "fraud affidavit" until they have seen the actual application which is believed to be forged. Likewise, consumers should never execute those affidavits without consulting an attorney first.
Contact our office today at 412-281-1250 or 1-888-536-6644 for a no cost, no obligation review of your identity theft issue.