What Is Identity Theft?

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What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is the use of someone else’s name, identification, address, Social Security number, credit cards, or other personal information without their knowledge or permission to commit fraud or other crimes. Stealing an identity is a Federal crime, and many states have enacted their own statutes outlawing it as well.

How Are Identities Stolen?

Criminals steal identities in a number of ways. Some examples include:

How Can I Protect Myself Against Identity Theft?

The best way to protect yourself against identity theft is to protect your bank and credit card information. Some routines you should get into the habit of include:

What Do I Do If I Think My Identity Has Been Stolen?

If you are a victim of identity theft you should call the police. If there is sufficient evidence, the police will forward your case to the District Attorney’s office to prosecute the person who committed the crime against you. You should also immediately contact your bank and credit card companies and inform them of the problem. You may even wish to freeze or close the accounts.

Can I Sue the Person Who Stole My Identity? 

If you are the victim of identity theft, you may be able to sue the person who stole your personal information. It is highly recommended that you contact a personal injury attorney because of the potential complexity of your case. Only an attorney will be able to analyze the facts from your case and determine if, and how, you can sue for the identity theft. An attorney will also be able to advise you of your rights, explain the relevant legal issues, and help in any recovery of damages.

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Last Modified: 09-30-2014 01:01 PM PDT

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