According to a recent survey, more than 12 million consumers were victims of identity theft in 2013. Identity theft causes substantial costs to consumers and businesses, both in terms of money and time lost. The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides you with a number of rights if you believe that you are the victim of identity theft.
Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act
Some of the key signs of identity theft include debts on your credit report that you do not recognize, inquiries on your credit report that you did not authorize, and sometimes, even other names on your credit report. When you suspect identity theft is the cause, you must take prompt action. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address identity theft. Your rights include the ability to place fraud alerts in your file, the right to access information about the theft, and the ability to block fraudulent information resulting from identity theft information in your credit report. Many times, these steps begin with filing an identity theft police report and providing that report and any additional information to Equifax, Experian, and/or TransUnion. Sometimes that solves the problem, but sometimes there are additional steps you need to take.
Generally, you are in the best position to handle the initial steps of managing an identity theft problem. The Federal Trade Commission provides helpful information about the steps to take if you believe your identity has been stolen:
Oftentimes these procedures can be confusing and difficult. If you suspect that your identity has been stolen, the FCRA attorneys at Weiner & Sand LLC can help walk you through the steps of repairing a stolen identity.