Manassas Identity Theft Lawyer
Identity theft in our current cyber-world is a common issue that consumers face. ID theft can affect individuals and businesses alike. While many people see the harm that identity theft causes, victims of ID theft frequently do not understand their rights. Moreover, determining what steps to take and what collateral issues may exist that need correction can seem daunting.
Repairing the Damage of Identity Theft
If someone has stolen your personal information to run up charges under your name or hijack your identity, the adverse effects can linger for months or years. The law office of Thomas R. Breeden, P.C., works proactively to restore your credit rating and pursue damages for a credit agency’s inaction.
Manassas identity theft attorney Tom Breeden brings 30 years of experience in consumer fraud and identity theft representation. Call 703-659-0188 for an initial consultation. We represent individuals in Prince William County, Fairfax County, Northern Virginia, and statewide.
What to Do if You Are the Victim of Identity Theft
Don’t let a bad situation get worse. If you are the victim of credit card fraud, false impersonation, or another form of ID theft, read the information below and contact an identity theft lawyer from our firm:
- Prove you don’t owe the money — We work directly with credit bureaus and creditors to demonstrate unauthorized use of your bank accounts or charge cards. Attorney Breeden can also step in if the bank or credit card company refuses to forgive the charges and penalties.
- Fix your credit report — Identity theft leads to past due notices, late fees, collection agency referrals, and other black marks on your credit report. These inaccurate charges can seriously affect borrowing, employment, college enrollment or security clearances. You may be barred from establishments or told your personal checks are not honored. Mr. Breeden prepares a letter to dispute the charges and convince the credit reporting agencies to repair them in a timely fashion.
- Exercise your rights — If fast resolution is most important, Mr. Breeden contacts the credit bureau’s attorneys with the message, “Get this cleaned up and there won’t be any legal action.” Or he can initiate a lawsuit against the credit reporting agency for its failure to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Compensation can include actual damages (for example, being turned down for a loan), your attorney fees, and possibly punitive damages.
Frequently Asked Questions About Identity Theft
There is a lot of confusion around identity theft. Read on for answers to common questions, and contact our lawyers for questions specific to your situation.
What are some of the methods used by identity thieves to obtain private information?
Unfortunately, there are numerous ways thieves can steal your identity. Some of the most common include:
- Soliciting your identifying information through phone, text or email scams (“phishing”)
- Creating a fake login website to gather your online credentials
- Installing malware on your devices
- Gleaning sensitive data from your phone, laptop or tablet that was stolen
- Skimming your credit card information with tampered card readers
- Purchasing your identifying information on the dark web
- Failing a fake tax return in your name to intercept a refund
- Hacking into your accounts
While more rare, potential identity thieves can even gather some of this information by physically looking over your shoulder – commonly referred to as “shoulder surfing.” They may also intercept your mail or even go through your trash – often known as “dumpster diving.”
Do You Know the Thief?
Identity thieves include “phishing” artists who trick people into giving out personal data, dishonest workers with access to sensitive information, and sophisticated criminal operations who steal Social Security or credit card numbers and sell them.
But very often, the identity thief is someone close to you: an adult child who has financial problems, and ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, or a “friend.” Victims are often reluctant to turn in a family member — our firm can still help restore your credit rating without exposing the culprit to criminal prosecution.
What are some warning signs that my identity has been stolen?
Red flags that may indicate identity theft include:
- Receiving a fraud alert from your credit card company or credit monitoring service
- Having unexplained charges on your bank account or credit card
- Receiving bank or credit card statements for accounts you don’t recognize
- Receiving a change of address confirmation from the U.S. Postal Service when you didn’t request a change
- Not receiving mail
- Noticing errors on your credit report
- Receiving collection notices or calls for debts you didn’t incur
- Getting denied credit
It’s important to take every indication of potential identity theft seriously.
What steps should I take if my identity has been stolen?
- It’s important to act quickly to protect yourself if you suspect that your identity has been stolen. You can do this by:
- Notifying your bank and credit card companies
- Notifying the credit bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax) and placing a freeze on your credit
- Notifying the U.S. Postal Service if the identity theft involves mail fraud
- Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission
- Enlist a lawyer to advocate for you in protecting your credit
A knowledgeable lawyer can help you take the right action to protect yourself and set your credit straight again.