Identity theft is the process of obtaining personal information about a person, and using that information to create a new identity with the intention of committing unlawful acts in that person’s name. The federal government, as well as numerous state governments, has passed laws making identity fraud a crime. It is against the law to steal a person’s social security number and use it to create a new identity or commit fraud against the government.
This is good news for the victims, since numerous government acts have followed that have made it simpler for a person to discover acts of identity theft and report the acts appropriately.
Get the Facts on the FCRA
One of the first lines of defence against this type offraud is your credit report. One of the most important laws involving identity theft is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, which allows a consumer to receive one free copy of his credit report every year. You should take advantage of the opportunity to peruse your credit report on an annual basis, because this can give you clues as to whether your report has been viewed by a company without your authorization.
If an identity thief steals a credit card application from your trash, for example, you may see an inquiry on your credit report from that company. You can then follow up with the credit card company to find out if someone indeed has had access to your personal information. If you have already been a victim of identity theft, the law states that you may receive a free copy of your credit report once you place a fraud alert with the credit reporting agencies – and that is according to the law.
The FCRA also allows you to receive creditor documentation at no charge, if you believe someone is applying for credit cards or loans in your name. This law is important; because creditor documentation can help you prove that you were a victim of fraud by showing that a signature on an application is not yours. In order to receive this information from the credit company within 30 days at no charge, you must provide proof of your identity and either a police report or affidavit stating the details of your claim of identity theft.
No one wants to be the victim of a crime. Fortunately identity theft laws have been passed to protect the victims of these crimes in the same manner as the victims of other types of criminal activity.
Eddie Lamb publishes an abundance of information on a range of topical subjects. You can find out more about internet identity theft, identity theft laws and protection against identity theft by clicking on the links.
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