Technology has put the entire world at our fingertips, making it easier to connect with people, learn new things, and stay entertained. However, technology has also made our personal information more vulnerable than ever. Identity theft is a serious problem across the United States, leaving people’s personal information, financial accounts, and credit history exposed. After your identity has been stolen, it’s crucial to work with an identity theft lawyer to catch every way that your information has been compromised and clear up your accounts.
If a perpetrator uses your personal information to open new lines of credit or max out your current accounts, you could be left repairing your credit for years. In many cases, victims don’t realize that their identity has been stolen until they begin receiving collection calls and court summons for debts they didn’t actually incur. Poor credit can impact you in nearly every avenue of life, limiting your ability to buy a house, get a car, or take out student loans. It’s essential to work with all three credit bureaus and an attorney to make sure that all fraudulent accounts are removed from your credit reports. Perpetrators may obtain your information in a variety of ways—in a recent Florida case, a Miami man used credit card skimmers to steal over $47,000 in just 10 days.
Identity thieves can apply for jobs in your name and utilize your personal information while filling out tax documentation and employment paperwork. This often catches up to victims when they file taxes and report their actual income. The documents filed by the thief’s employer makes it look like victims are working more and underreporting their income, which can lead to audits and serious fines. In addition, identity thieves may not pay taxes on their earned income, causing tax debt to pile up under the victim’s name.
In this new digital world, employers have a wide range of ways to assess potential employees. Credit reports are one tool that employers use. In many cases, employers don’t hire applicants with poor credit or a history of overdue accounts. An identity thief could wreak havoc on your credit report for years before you notice, causing you to miss out on promising job opportunities.
Quite a few identity thieves use victims’ information to open bank accounts. They quickly rack up huge overdrafts and disappear, keeping the money and leaving the account with a massive debt. These overdrafts are reported to ChexSystems, which many banks use to determine whether or not to give an account to a new customer. If an identity thief’s overdraft shows up in your ChexSystems report, you could find it difficult to open a new account.
Identity theft can negatively impact your life for years if you fail to protect yourself from all angles. If your information has been compromised, contact Fetterman & Associates at (561) 449-2372 to take the next step and recover your identity.
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