Finding out your identity has been compromised is an extremely stressful situation. Unfortunately, many victims of identity theft are unable to locate who has taken their information. However, when you discover your relative is the thief you may not know what to do. The following blog explores what you should know if a relative stole your identity and the steps you can take to recover and repair your credit with the help of a Los Angeles, California identity theft lawyer.
How Can a Family Member Commit Identity Theft?
Unfortunately, it may be easier for a family member to steal your identity, as they have more access to your information. They know your name, phone number, birthday, and address. As such, they can steal mail containing personal account information from your mailbox or take letters when they are at your home.
One of the most common forms of identity theft impacts older adults and children. Because these are two groups who do not have the means to check their financial information as often or at all, it can often go unnoticed. In some instances, if a relative uses a child’s social security number, they will use a fake birthday, as minors cannot open accounts like credit cards. In some instances, the child may not know they were a victim from a parent, grandparent, or other relative until they are an adult.
Unfortunately, the person you chose to spend the rest of your life with may also be responsible for stealing your identity. In some instances, a spouse may take the identity of their partner to defraud their spouse.
Finally, you may also find that “ghosting” is not just a term relative to dating. When someone continues to use the information of a deceased person for financial gain, it constitutes identity theft.
What Steps Must I Take if a Relative Stole My Identity?
If you discover that a relative has stolen your identity, you may find that it has a significant impact on your life. Not only can it affect your credit score, but you could even have a criminal record if a relative commits fraud under your name.
As such, understanding what steps to take to repair the damage is crucial. You should begin by reporting the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission. Next, you must inform the three major credit reporting bureaus and request a credit freeze. This helps prevent the thief from continuing to damage your credit. Finally, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
In some instances, identity theft can go unpunished as the thief may never be caught. However, when you know your relative is responsible, you should gather as much information as possible to help hold your relative accountable for the impact they’ve had on your life and any damages that you’ve suffered as a result.
At Los Angeles Legal Solutions, our firm understands how hard it can be to regain control of your life after you’ve been the victim of identity theft. We are here to guide you through this process and help you in any way possible. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you.