Identity Theft Attorneys in Chicago
Helping Victims Seek Justice
Identity theft takes numerous forms. Sometimes a complete stranger obtains your personal information and uses it to open credit accounts in your name. Sometimes a family member takes advantage of your personal information. In either case, dealing with damages caused by identity theft can be costly and frustrating.
If you or a loved one was the victim of personal identity theft, our credit reporting lawyers want to provide you with the legal help you need. Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC has guided countless clients through the legal process of handling identity theft. Your rights have been violated and we want to help you seek justice.
Steps to Take after Identity Theft
Identity theft is a growing problem. Once a thief has your sensitive personal information, he or she may be able to access your bank account, open up credit accounts, and seek medical treatment using your health insurance policy.
If you have been the victim of identity theft, you should:
- Contact the fraud departments of the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) and request that a fraud alert is placed on your credit file. Consider also placing a credit freeze on your file.
- Close accounts that have been tampered with and open new ones with new passwords.
- Contact the creditor for any accounts that were fraudulently opened in your name. Inform them of the fraud and demand that the accounts be closed.
- Obtain a financial identity theft police report from the locations where the fraud occurred.
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-438-4338 or use the FTC’s online complaint form to file an FTC identity theft fraud affidavit.
- Send a copy of the police report, fraud affidavit, and a written dispute of any fraudulent accounts to each major credit bureau and send a copy to the creditor for each account. Use certified mail and be sure to save copies of everything you send and all responses you receive.
- If you think that somebody else is using your Social Security number, contact the Social Security Administration’s fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271.
Preventing Identity Theft
Identity theft is not something that should be taken lightly. The victims of identity theft face long, arduous processes to refute the thief’s actions and right all the wrongs against them.
It is impossible to be 100% safe from identity theft, but here are some things you can do to protect yourself:
- Obtain copies of your credit report annually
- Shred unwanted documents containing personal information, including bills, invoices, canceled checks, and credit card offers
- Report lost or stolen credit cards and checks right away and demand that those accounts be closed
- Do not carry your Social Security number, passwords, or personal identification numbers with you
- Be extremely careful about revealing your Social Security number and birth date to anyone
- Do not post personal information on Facebook or other social networking sites
- Do not reveal your credit card or bank account numbers on a website unless you are sure the site offers a secure transaction
- If you conduct a credit card transaction by phone, make sure you place the call to a number you have verified to be correct – do not respond to phone calls or emails requesting account information
- Promptly review your monthly bank and credit card statements for accuracy
- Use strong passwords that include a combination of letters, numbers and symbols for financial accounts
Our Chicago Identity Theft Attorneys Can Help. Call Today!
The Chicago identity theft attorneys at Edelman Combs Latturner & Goodwin, LLC would be happy to discuss these steps with you. We represent identity theft victims on a contingency basis, so you will pay nothing for our services unless we win or settle your case.