There were 14.4 million victims of identity theft in 2018.[1] Identity theft occurs when someone steals your personal information to commit fraud, such as applying for credit, filing taxes, or receiving medical services. Identity theft may hurt your credit status, and it costs time and money to reverse the damage. If you are a victim of identity theft, contact Counsel Hound today for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.

Types of Identity Theft

Some common types of identity (ID) theft include:[2]

  • Tax ID theft
    • Stealing a social security number to file tax returns with the IRS or state.
  • Medical ID theft
    • Stealing Medicare ID or health insurance member number to get medical services.
  • Social ID theft
    • Creating a fake social media accounting using the victim’s name and photo.

Warning Signs

It is important to watch for warning signs of identity theft so you can act quickly to minimize the damage. Signs of identity theft include:

  • Receiving bills for items you did not buy,
  • Receiving debt collection calls for accounts you did not open,
  • Being unexpectedly denied for loan applications,
  • Noticing withdrawals that you did not authorize.

What should I do?

The Federal Trade Commission outlines steps to take if you believe you are a victim of identity theft:[3]

  1. Call the companies where you know fraud occurred.
    • Explain someone stole your identity.
    • Close or freeze your accounts.
    • Change your account logins and passwords.
  2. Place a fraud alert and get your credit reports.
    • Contact one of the three credit bureaus to place a free one-year fraud alert.
    • Get your free credit reports from Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
  3. Report identity theft to the FTC.
  4. Optional: file a report with your local police department.
    • Go to your police department with your FTC identity theft report, a government-issued ID, proof of address, and any proof of theft.
    • Tell the police you need to file a stolen identity report.
    • Ask for a copy of the police report.

You may need to contact additional offices and take additional steps depending on your situation. Contact Counsel Hound for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation. Our experienced lawyers will help you through the process.

Tips to Protect Your Identity

Keep these tips in mind to protect yourself from Identity theft[4]

  • Social Security Number: Only give it out when necessary, and do not regularly carry it with you.
  • Credit Reports: Review your free credit reports once a year.
  • Financial Accounts: Review your accounts often and monitor for unauthorized transactions.
  • Passwords: Create complex passwords and regularly check login activity.
  • Mail: Collect it every day and place a hold whenever you are away from home.
  • Bills: Contact the company if you are receiving bills that you did not authorize.

Compensation

Identity theft can leave you with emotional and financial hardships. Our Counsel Hound lawyers will work to maximize your settlement or award. Types of compensation you may be eligible for include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • Expenses related to financial losses incurred as a result of the theft.
  • Punitive damages if your information was exposed intentionally or recklessly.
  • Injunctive relief preventing you from being held liable for debts you did not accrue.

Non-Economic Damages:

Some damages cannot be proven with lost wages, property damages, etc., and you and your loved ones may face emotional distress because of the theft. Our lawyers will work to include all available compensation in your case.