File Report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The profession of identity theft is growing and developing all the time. The duty they owe is even greater if the bank improperly allows money to be withdrawn from a victims account. Anxiety goes from a 10 to 0! Business of Commercial Identity Theft:This occurs when an individual, usually a current or ex-employee, uses a businesss name to obtain credit. Sometimes. If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft, the first step is to file a report with the police. Weve helped over 300,000 families. The real deep pockets in large identity theft cases are the banks or holders of the data. Recovering stolen money and correcting any additional damage caused by identity theft, such as a damaged credit score or a tarnished reputation, can be a difficult task to undertake on your own. Hiring a private attorney and having them assemble your case will allow you to navigate parts of the case that could be difficult on your own. Aside from recovering identity theft compensation (i.e., court ordered damages), a victim will also have certain rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), such as stopping creditors and debt collectors from reporting fraudulent accounts, getting extended fraud alert protection on credit reports, and requesting that fraudulent information be removed from credit reports. But even if a court finds a debt collector violated the law in trying to collect a legitimate debt, you may still owe the debt. By responding to the lawsuit, either yourself or through an attorney, you can make sure the collector has to prove that you owe the debt, that the amount of the debt is correct, and the debt collector has the legal right to sue you to collect on it. She is a chartered accountant, certified management accountant and certified public accountant with a Bachelor of Arts in economics from Wilfrid Laurier University. This can be important if you need to deal with creditors, collection agencies, and credit reporting companies in the future. If the person does not know the person or law enforcement cannot find them, then there may be other avenues for a victim to pursue for legal action. Also, some states require offenders convicted of identity theft to pay restitution, and this order for restitution may be treated like a civil judgement. People stealing your identity can be sent to prison but that rarely helps the victim. There are several theories of liability that victims of identity theft can utilize to seek compensation for their losses, including breach of fiduciary duty and negligence. Figuring out a legal theory to sue under can be difficult, especially since it can depend on the specific facts of your case. Use two-factor authentication whenever possible. PERIOD! After several years of working for both criminal defense and entertainment law firms, she enrolled in law school. These time frames can be as short as a few days, so it is important to remain vigilant about activity on any financial accounts. There are numerous ways to steal a persons identity. The Fair Credit Reporting Act defines identity theft as a fraud committed or attempted using the identifying information of another person without authority. Typically, identity theft is separated into six categories, which are comprised of the following: New Account Fraud:This occurs when an individual takes advantage of an individual with good credit standing by using their personal information to create new accounts. In those cases, it may be possible to successfully sue the individual but even then, collectability is often an issue. You typically cannot decide whether a person who stole and benefited from your identity faces criminal charges. Thieves can also pose as authority figures (e.g., school administrators), so that the child will feel obligated or trust them enough to give them the information. Beyond the criminal penalties that may be imposed on the criminal who steals your identity; you may initiate civil proceedings against 3rd party entities. In Ginder v. Bank of America, 2015 U.S. Dist. An Illinois district court has allowed a couple to sue their bank on the novel grounds that . If your credit card information has been stolen, it is important to contact your credit card company immediately. We will get you started immediately. Submit your case to start resolving your legal issue. You can also report identity theft to the police or through the Federal Trade Commission website on identity theft or by calling 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338). Here are the main steps to take if you get sued by a debt collector: Answer the lawsuit, which you may have to do in writing or by showing up to court or both. ), a . If a hacker gains access to it and uses it to purchase things, then this would be considered an act of identity theft. We have helped over 300,000 people with their problems. Our firm helps consumers get access to their bank accounts using state consumer protection laws and a federal statute called EFTA (the Electronic Funds Transfer Act). Common examples of identity theft include someone using your: If you believe you have been the victim of identity theft, the first step is to file a report with the police. the statute of limitations has expired before the loss even occurs. If you are warned that your personal information or credit card numbers have been leaked or sold (apps like CreditWise offer alerts of this nature) you should freeze your credit line or start carefully watching your credit card transactions and emails. This is difficult to detect and can become very costly. Whether or not you can file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator, you should still speak with a consumer protection lawyer. The fraudulent information must be removed from the credit report and an extended fraud alert protection must be assigned to the victims portfolio. All rights reserved. & We only get paid if we win. Step Four:Report the identity theft to law enforcement officials. Contact us today & reclaim your financial future. Ask the credit bureaus to place a "fraud alert" on every open account. The type of claim you file will hinge on the type of identity theft you have been the victim of, as well as the facts particular to your case. Merchants who process credit card transactions; Most likely any other business that had possession of and may be responsible for the stolen information. Today, many of the identity theft cases are caused by sophisticated hackers and organized crime. Any other legal theories listed under the state statute. Aside from the specific examples provided above, some more general methods that are used to steal identities include: Although identify theft can happen to anyone, identity thieves tend to target two primary groups of people: children and the elderly. The entire Morgan & Morgan team, including my case manager Michelle Hill, have been a blessing! Receiving unfamiliar bills in the mail or not receiving regular bills/mail, Unauthorized transactions on your financial statements, Receiving calls from fraud departments for suspicious activity, Unauthorized purchases or changes to your online accounts, Unfamiliar activity on your credit reports, Calls or letters from debt collectors for unfamiliar debt, Medical claims denied or being billed for services you didn't receive, You cannot file income taxes because you have supposedly already filed, Receiving notification that your information was compromised in a data breach, meaning you are at risk for identity theft. If your bank contributed to the identity theft, you may potentially sue. Search "identity theft" on DoNotPay and select the type of incident you would like to report. These are often a customer's first alert that an identity thief has had their hands in your bank account, credit cards, or other financial institutions. With more financial transactions occurring over the telephone and Internet, it is easier than ever for thieves to steal your identity. A defendant who is convicted of identity theft may receive any of the following penalties: Imprisonment; Fines; Probation; Restitution; Conversion; Punishment for any related crimes (e.g., mail or credit card fraud); and. How Should I Respond To a Debt Collection Lawsuit? Therefore, if you are a victim of identity theft, it may be in your best interest to hire a local identity theft attorney, or alternatively, a identity theft lawyer. The U.S. Department of Justice broadly defines identity theft as a term that applies to all types of crimes that involve obtaining and using someone elses personal data through fraud or deception for their own economic gain. What to do about unwanted calls, emails, and text messages that can be annoying, might be illegal, and are probably scams. In Scherer v. Wells Fargo, 4:20-cv-01295 (S.D. In corporate identity theft cases, we handle those individually. Merchants who process credit card transactions. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Tex. Law, Immigration Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Legislation Stalled in PA House, Morgan and Morgan Join in on the Fun at Monster Jam Pit Party, Morgan and Morgans Response to the Jackson Water Crisis. However, the losses you incur can sometimes be greater than direct losses. Box 740241 Atlanta, GA 30374-0241 To order your report: 1-800-685-111 To report fraud: 1-800-525-6285 TDD: 1-800-255-0056www.equifax.com, TransUnionFraud Victim Assistance P.O. This can be particularly important if the perpetrator involved themselves with your real property. Many times, sophisticated criminals will target a specific business. State laws protect you for all losses in the event your checkbook is used without your knowledge. However, you are responsible for notifying the bank immediately if you have lost your checkbook or it has been stolen. If your checkbook is stolen or someone has ordered checks on your account without your knowledge, you are protected under most state laws for everything except a minor loss. A stolen credit card number or security breach does not have to be reported to the FTC. $0 cost to you. We only get paid if we win. Another way identity theft can occur is when someone is not careful with their personal data in public. It is important to contact an attorney to discuss options that may be available to you if the police cannot be of assistance. You can sue for damages that happened because the collector broke the law expenses like lost wages or medical bills, or compensation for the effect the debt collectors actions had on your job or your health. We'll even mail a copy of your demand letter to the individual or business you are suing. Can Victims of a Mass Shooting Sue the Government? Identity theft can include someone impersonating you to benefit financially or stealing your financial information and using it to drain your bank account or rack up debt. Some states allow identity theft victims to sue under their identity theft laws. All inquiries kept completely confidential. Step 2: Complete the FTC Identity Theft Report. Trying to build a case independently could have complications that could harm the outcome of your case. The point is that in the large data breach cases, you might not suffer a loss for years. Learn the Answers Here Special Information for Corporate Identity Theft Whistleblowers Too! DoNotPay will make sure your issue gets sent to the right place. They didnt steal it but may a legal responsibility to keep that data safe. Typically, someone else will use your personal information to fraudulently obtain money, goods, or services. LegalMatch, Market If you have a bank account and at the same time you owe funds to the same bank, they can automatically deduct the debt. Why Courts Seal False Claims Act Lawsuits. Forfeiture of any personal property used to commit or that were gained from the crime. See what they have to say. This will allow you to discuss what your rights are, identify the parties you could sue, what you could recover, and whether you have a supportable case. In many identity theft cases it isnt even possible to figure out who hacked an account or breached a merchants database. If theres one constant among scammers, its that theyre always coming up with new schemes, like the Google Voice verification scam. Jumbo Privacy Review: Is It Legit? Today identity thieves share their information on the dark web. Reporting the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The second way that thieves obtain information for elderly persons is through theft by deception. Thus, any fines the defendant is ordered to pay will go directly to the federal or state government. If the offender is caught, it remains up to the prosecutor to decide whether or not to file charges. If your credit card is lost or stolen, let the card company know right away to prevent losses from occurring. At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have access to experts at the top of their respective fields, including private investigators and forensic accountants, who may be able to assist in determining, through their own private investigation, when your identity was stolen and by whom. Suing an individual requires that you have identified and pressed charges against the perpetrator and that they are convicted. You cannot control whether the offender is charged with a crime or not. The amount that can be claimed will vary depending on the facts of that case. As previously mentioned, the first thing a victim must do is to figure out who stole their identity. And . So, many of us might be looking for alternatives, like buying gifts locally or maybe from online marketplaces or sites you find through your social media accounts, online ads, or by searching Youve opened all your gifts, and now its time to open those post-holiday credit card statements. Under the GLBA, consumer banking customers have rights with respect to the privacy of their nonpublic personal information (NPI). information from identity theft and failed to maintain state-of-the-art security standards . In addition, there is acivil statute of limitationsyou need to be mindful of. Regardless of who the target is and how the thief does it, committing identity theft specifically against a child or an elderly person will result in severe legal penalties if convicted. Our attorneys have a history of success helping consumers restore their good names, reputation, and credit after their identities were stolen. While in law school, her law journal note was selected for first-round publishing, and can be found on various legal research databases. If the lawsuit is successful, the victim can potentially recover: On the other hand, in a criminal matter, the goal is to punish the defendant. Report identity theft to all major credit bureaus, any debt collectors, credit card companies, and credit reporting agencies. What's the Penalty for Using a Stolen Credit Card? They just need the card number to start ordering online. Have you heard about it? Preventing identity theft is the best way to avoid all this, and regularly reviewing your credit reports (at the very least annually) will help. A credit report can help identify irregularities that could indicate this form of identity theft. It is often a minority shareholder or partner who steals money or trade secrets in order to steal the business. Meaning, the most . Tell us about your situation so we can get started fighting for you. Contact the fraud department for each of your credit accounts, including credit card providers, cable, cell phone, and other utility providers. Click here. If you are a victim of identity theft, you probably feel angry and anxious. What Damages Are Available in Mass Torts? 20 North Orange Ave, Suite 1600, Orlando, FL 32801, This site is designed to be accessible to and usable by people with and without disabilities. DoNotPay will then generate a demand letter or court filing forms for you. Punitive damages are a available in some states but often not against the bank or business who facilitated the theft. You are responsible for notifying the bank if your checkbook is lost or stolen. Credit cards are breached most frequently because criminals dont need the physical card anymore. Communicated in many ways to make sure I understood. You will need to close any accounts that you did not open and file affidavits with each company showing that you did not open the account. Simply follow the steps below to get started: That's all! It may be possible to sue a credit bureau or business that disclosed your credit information. Sometimes, whistleblowers have information yet no rewards are possible. And despite what you may have seen in TV shows, you cant stop things by refusing to accept delivery or service of the lawsuit. Your situation may lead to federal charges if the offenders conduct crossed state lines, occurred on federal property, or violated a specific federal statute. Under California Civil Code section 1798.93: "A person who proves that he or she is a victim of identity theft shall be entitled to a judgment providing all of the following, as appropriate: (1) A declaration that he or she is not obligated to the claimant on that claim. Given the number of ways an identity can be stolen, identity theft encompasses several theories of liability. These include fraud, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conversion (use of victims information without permission). Merchants who process credit card transactions. Box 6790 Fullerton, CA 92634-6790 To order your report: 1-800-888-4213 To report fraud: 1-800-680-7289 TDD: 1-877-553-7803www.transunion.com, ExperianP.O. They don't even need to physically steal it anymore; they just need the card number to order things online. So, if prevention fails and identity theft prevails, consider consulting an identity theft attorney to help you identify and recover your full potential damages. It's easier than ever for thieves to impersonate you and use your credit card. The papers that say the debt collector is suing you will tell you what to do. They just need the card number to start ordering online. Possible theories that a victim of identity theft could sue under include: TheFederal Trade Commission (FTC) has steps you can takeafter identity fraud. Identity theft is a form of fraud that happens when an individual uses someone else's personal information (name, social security number, credit card number, etc.) The second step is to inform any bank or credit card that was impacted by the fraud. The bank needs to verify any address changes when requested to send checks to a different address. If a bank is the victim the wrongdoer can get up to 30 years in prison. Thus, it may be in a persons best interest to contact an attorney for advice regarding identity theft lawsuits. Learn more This law created a new offense of identity theft, which prohibits knowingly transfer[ring] or us[ing], without lawful authority, a means of identification of another person with the intent to commit, or to aid or abet, any unlawful activity that constitutes a violation of Federal law, or that constitutes a felony under any applicable State or local law. 18 U.S.C. Report the identity theft to each creditor, even if that account has not been affected. TermsPrivacyDisclaimerCookiesDo Not Sell My Information, Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select, Please enter a legal issue and/or a location, (city, Banks are often victims as well but that doesnt mean they cant be held liable for your losses. Can You Sue a Bank for Allowing Identity Theft? It can be difficult to navigate your world in the wake of an identity theft crisis. (No job, no money for restitution.). Banks and credit card issuers that process fraudulent transactions can be sued if it is shown they owe a duty of care to the victim.