Attorney for Identity Theft Victims in New York
Fixing Your Credit Report After Identity Theft
Identity theft is a serious crime in the State of New York. Unfortunately, not only do the financial well-being of victims suffer harm, but their credit is also negatively impacted by the offense.
If your identity has been stolen and you now have bad credit because of it, let the Law Office of Abel L. Pierre, Attorney at Law, P.C., help you restore your credit. We can thoroughly review your financial standing, reach out to the necessary parties on your behalf, file the paperwork, and help you obtain the most favorable outcome.
Understanding Identity Theft
Identity theft is defined by the Fair Credit Report Act As "fraud committed or attempted using the identify information of another...without authority." There are many different forms of identity theft, and many different ways these methods can affect your credit.
Some common types of identity theft include:
- Account Takeover - The perpetrator using the victim's information to spend on existing credit cards or withdraw from bank accounts
- New Account - The perpetrator uses the victim's good credit to establish a new financial account
- Identity Cloning - The perpetrator fully impersonates the victim to hide their identity, including all aspects of the victim's financial life
- Commercial Identity Theft - The perpetrator uses a business's name and personal information to obtain credit
Cases of identity theft are increasing every day, and in the age of the internet it has become harder to identify perpetrators. The consequences of identity theft are far reaching, and recovering lost money and other damages is often difficult.
How to Improve Poor Credit After Identity Theft
As soon as you discover you are the victim of identity theft, the following are several steps you could take to protect your credit:
- Report the offense to credit fraud departments - You should report the identity theft to the fraud departments of the three major credit agencies, as well as each of your creditors.
- Freeze your credit - You can either put a fraud alert or credit freeze on your credit accounts, preventing further access to your credit. A fraud alert signals to new potential lenders that further verification is required before opening new accounts. A freeze prevents all access to your report, and can be temporarily lifted if needed.
- Contact your bank or other financial institution - Your bank can place stop payments on potentially compromised checks, removed unauthorized credit card charges, and close accounts to prevent any more fraudulent charges.
- Report the offense to the police – You must file a police report immediately and use a copy as evidence when dealing with credit bureaus. Additionally, you may file an ID theft complaint and affidavit form online with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
After taking care of these immediate issues, you can start taking the following steps to work towards protecting and repairing your credit:
- Call credit bureaus – When you obtain copies of your credit reports to determine how the identity theft specifically harmed your credit, you need to review and pinpoint the accounts impacted by the crime. Then send a letter to the credit bureau, certified mail, explaining the identity theft in your own words
- Update your personal information – From changing the passwords to all of your bank accounts to applying for a new driver’s license and notifying the Social Security Administration, you need to update your personal information. Furthermore, routinely communicate with the police and credit bureaus for to make sure your credit score is accurate.
- Contact any companies with incorrect charges in your name - If you identify any fraudulent accounts in your name, and these haven't gone to collections, you can work with these companies. Since every company has a different process for handling fraud, it is important to reach out as soon as possible.
Schedule a Consultation Today!
With experienced and personalized legal guidance, the NYC identity theft attorney at our firm can protect you from further harm due to identity theft. Do not wait to let the problem resolve itself and allow us to protect your rights and finances.