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What are the most common types of credit identity theft in California?

Identity Theft on a Touch Screen Cardoza Law CorporationWhen an identity thief steals your personal information, he or she usually has a plan for what they are going to do with it. Most commonly, the goal is to either steal money from you or use your identity to get goods and services that the thief won’t have to pay for because he can’t be caught.

How Can An Identity Thief Steal Your Information?

There are a variety of ways he can accomplish these goals, including the following:

Taking Over Your Existing Accounts

In the old days, a thief would simply steal your wallet and use your credit cards until the cards were declined. Today, thieves go for broke by stealing the passwords or PINs for your credit card or bank accounts and taking them over by changing your address and ordering replacement credit or debit cards. Because your cards are not missing, you may not realize it’s happening for months.

Opening New Accounts In Your Name 

If a thief gets ahold of your Social Security Number (SSN) or other sensitive information, she can order credit cards and take out loans in your name, which, of course, she will never have to pay because it’s not really her borrowing the money—it’s you! Unless you see these accounts on one of your credit reports, you will have no idea you are racking up debt.

Filing A Tax Return In Your Name 

With your SSN, a thief can also file your tax return. You might think he’d be doing you a favor, but if he reroutes your tax refund into his own pocket, it’s not such a bonus. You could also end up in trouble with the IRS.

If Creditors Don’t Help You Fix it, You Can Sue Them

There’s no way around it—having your identity stolen and having debt piled up in your name is a major inconvenience, to say the least. You will have a tough road ahead getting the damage cleaned up, but you should not have to deal with a debt collector hounding you or a credit reporting agency (CRA) refusing to remove false information from your credit reports. In fact, the law backs you up on this. If you are being contacted about debt resulting from identity theft or a CRA will not remove false information from your credit reports, you can take legal action and possibly even win damages.

Contact a California Consumer Attorney to Learn More

Tell me about your case, and I will not waste any time letting you know if I can help. I will send you information about how to get the false information removed and if we can file suit against an agency for damages, we will. The best part is, you won’t owe me a dime unless we win damages, so you have nothing to lose by contacting me. Contact me online or call my office directly at 855.982.2400 and let me know what happened to you today.

 

Michael F. Cardoza, Esq.
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U.S. Marine & Consumer Financial Protection Attorney dedicated to fighting debt and credit bureau harassment.