Being the victim of identity theft can be devastating. Not only will you feel significantly violated, you are likely to face some complicated legal and financial consequences after someone has stolen your identity. The stark reality is that in many cases, addressing the aftermath of an identity theft requires much more than a few well-placed phone calls.
If you are the victim of identity theft, you must act with all deliberate speed to fully protect your legal rights and financial interests. Because some of what needs to be done can prove to be quite complex, you might want to consider the benefits of retaining the professional services of an experienced NYC identity theft attorney.
File a Police Report
At the top of the list of what must be done after learning you are the victim of identity theft is filing a comprehensive police report. You must make certain that you file a police report as soon as possible after learning of the crime.
The reality is that in order to obtain a refund of funds you may have lost through identity theft, you must file a police report. If you fail to file a timely police report, certain financial institutions may prove to be unable or unwilling to refund money you contend you have lost via identity theft.
Contact Credit Reporting Agencies
Another task you must immediately undertake following identity theft is contacting the three major credit reporting agencies. There are a number of reasons why these agencies need to be contacted.
First, you need to report entries on your credit report that may stem from identity theft. The credit reporting agencies will have specific forms for you to complete to address these entries on your credit report that stem from identity theft.
Second, you will want to have an alert place on your account. An alert will trigger a notification to you if something like the opening of a new account of some type is reported to a credit reporting agency.
Notify Banks and Other Financial Institutions
You will also need to make prompt notification to any banks or other types of financial institutions with whom you do business about the identity theft issue. This includes credit card companies. You need to advise these financial companies that you have been the victim of identity theft.
If charges, loans, or some other transactions have been initiated with these companies with whom you do business, you must file disputes promptly. Keep in mind that there are laws as well as institutional policies that limit the time frame within which you can file a dispute. If you fail to act in a timely manner, you run the risk for forever being prevented from disputing a particular transaction, including one that caused you a significant financial loss.
You also need to contact financial institutions with whom you have not done business. For example, if the identity thief has opened up accounts of some type in your name, including loans, you need to advise these institutions that you dispute these accounts and transactions as well. Once again, there can be some specific deadlines within which you must make contact to dispute these accounts or transactions. Failing to meet the deadline can have seriously negative consequences for you.
The Benefits of Legal Assistance
As mentioned previously, if you are the victim of identity theft, you have a great deal at risk. You have to take a multifaceted approach to fully protecting your legal and financial rights following an identity theft. A skilled lawyer is in the best position to assist you effectively in this regard. Contact the specialists at Morgan Legal Group PC to help guide your path.