In the United States, everyone is born with a social security number, meaning they can be a victim of identity theft. However, this is something many people will not have to worry about in their lifetime. It is essential to understand that certain groups are more vulnerable than others to identity theft. The following blog explores which groups are at an increased risk to have their identity stolen and discusses how a Los Angeles, California identity theft lawyer can help you if you’re enduring this complicated situation.
What Is Identity Theft?
When your information is taken and used to open accounts and make purchases in your name, it constitutes identity theft. Generally, this information, including your name, date of birth, address, and social security number, can be taken during data breaches, mail theft, or hacking. Once a thief has this information, they can open credit cards in your name, make expensive purchases, and file health insurance claims.
If this happens, it can wreak havoc on your life. Unfortunately, any time your information is used, it impacts your credit score. This means if someone opens up a credit card using your personal details and does not pay off a charge, it can significantly impact your credit score. When you have poor credit, even if it wasn’t of your own doing, it can severely influence your ability to purchase a home, open a bank account, or your tax return, among other things.
Who Is Most At-Risk?
Unfortunately, the most vulnerable group to have their identity stolen is senior citizens. This is because many hackers and thieves are technologically advanced, meaning they target the elderly. As a result, they may be unable to discern whether or not the person on the other end of the phone is actually a government agent who needs their social security number or a hacker.
Also at increased risk are children, as they are considered to have a “clean slate.” Unfortunately, because they do not make purchases or open accounts, parents do not check their children’s credit reports often, if at all. As a result, many children go into adulthood with terrible credit scores without even realizing it.
Similarly, many serving in the military and those on active duty are also more susceptible to identity theft because they do not have the means to frequently check their report to see if anything is off.
If you are a victim of identity theft, you may panic. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate damages. This includes contacting an experienced attorney from LA Legal Solutions. Our dedicated team will work tirelessly to help reduce the impact that a stolen identity can have on your life. Reach out today to learn how we can help you through this challenging time.