Rhett Hoestenbach, P.C. Law Firm

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How to Handle Personal Injury: Identity Theft Edition

Identity theft is a horribly invasive experience. When someone steals your most private information for his or her own financial gain, it is undoubtedly an instance of personal injury. Therefore, you need to get in touch with someone who can help you through the repercussions of this personal injury--a personal injury lawyer. Read on to find out what steps to take should you ever find your identity stolen.

 
  1. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the first thing you should do in the event of identity theft is to notify the companies where you know the identity theft occurred. So if you know the crime occurred at a particular restaurant or grocery store, let them know. They want to avoid personal injury and identity theft as much as you do.
 
  1. Report the crime by placing a fraud alert. By placing a fraud alert, you are making it harder for an identity thief to open new accounts under your name and further disrupt your credit score. Credit is super important to a healthy financial life and protecting your credit score should be a top priority.
 
  1. Next, the FTC encourages you to report the identity theft to them by either calling their toll-free number or filling out an online form. By reporting the theft to the FTC they will initiate a recovery plan, which is integral to reinstating a healthy financial life.
 
  1. Report the identity theft to your local police department. In your report you should include proof of the fraudulent activity, such as bills or IRS correspondence. You will also need to provide the department with a valid personal ID, proof of address and finally a copy of your FTC Identity Theft Affidavit from the step above.
 
  1. Now it comes down to your money and protecting your stash. Call your bank to remove suspicious or fraudulent charges to your accounts, initiate the process to correct your credit reports, and make sure your affairs are put back to the way they were pre-identity theft.

  This may seem overwhelming and that's because it is. Identity theft is unsettling and incredibly inconvenient. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 17.6 million Americans were reported as victims of identity theft in 2014. That means 17.6 million people had to deal with the nightmare that is the process of fixing their financial lives. If you happen to join that pool of people as a victim of identity theft, it is in your best interest to employ the expertise of a personal injury lawyer to reinstate your financial affairs back to the way they belong. A personal injury lawyer understands the process of identity theft and how to handle the repercussions. After all, you're busy with your daily life and career, but for a personal injury lawyer, this sort of thing is their career. When it comes to something as important as your financial identity, you can't treat it lightly. If you or a loved one have been a victim of identity theft, contact Rhett Hoestenbach at (512) 472-8865, or email [email protected].

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