When another person steals your identity, they could open bank accounts, run up debts, or even steal your tax refund without you ever knowing it.
If you are the victim of identity theft, an attorney from our team could help you make things right. From addressing credit issues to holding the responsible party accountable, an identity theft lawyer in Orlando could represent your best interests as you seek justice.
Understanding Identity Theft
Identity theft is an ongoing and rapidly increasing form of fraud in the United States and worldwide. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers resources for individuals with their identity stolen, but most people only discover this form of fraud once the damage has already been done.
Identity theft occurs when another person takes your personal identifying information and impersonates you. With details like your birth date or social security number in hand, another person could take out loans, set up credit cards in your name, and even steal your tax refunds.
The type of information that can be stolen for the purposes of identity theft varies. Basic biographical information, including your name, address, and date of birth, is valuable. However, the addition of a social security number (SSN) or driver’s license number is especially valuable. Other information that could be used for identity theft include:
- Bank account numbers
- Credit card numbers
- Phone numbers
- Email passwords
- Biometric data
To consult with an experienced identity theft lawyer serving Orlando, call 855-780-9986
Your Legal Options Following Identity Theft
There are potential criminal and civil consequences for anyone found to have committed identity theft. You might be able to recover compensation for your theft-related losses through both of these systems.
For the most part, a criminal prosecution will be out of your hands. Federal or state entities have complete control over these cases. For the most part, the penalties that are handed down will not directly impact you, either.
There is one important exception: restitution. Restitution is a financial award made during a criminal trial directly to the victim. These awards are designed to help a victim of identity theft recoup some of their losses.
A civil lawsuit could represent an option for holding the person that defrauded you accountable if they can be identified. More importantly, you could also bring legal action against the people and institutions that allowed this fraud to occur. In fact, pursuing legal action against the institutions that failed to prevent the fraud is often the best option to recover compensation for your losses.
The potential defendants in these lawsuits are numerous. Any organization or entity that holds your personal identifying information could face liability if they do not keep that information secure.
Some of these entities include:
- Credit unions
- Online retailers
If one of these entities fails to secure your personal information, it could result in identity theft. You could have a cause of action against both that entity as well as the person that commits the fraud.
Orlando Identity Theft Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
How Identity Theft Happens
There are countless ways for identity theft to occur. Sometimes these cases involve acts of random theft by strangers. In other situations, a trusted party could misuse the personal identifying information of a client, customer, or employee.
According to the Florida Bar, some common causes of identity theft include:
- Simple theft. Some cases of identity theft have obvious origins. A stolen wallet can net criminals something far more valuable than cash: your identifying information. A driver’s license, credit card, or social security card could be enough to steal your identity.
- Skimming. One of the more tech-savvy ways of stealing credit card information is skimming. Skimming is the process involving a device that is attached to a credit card scanner. To the user, running the credit card will not leave any signs that fraud has occurred. However, the skimmer will record the credit card number as the transaction goes through.
- Dumpster diving. One popular method of stealing personal information is through dumpster diving. This involves going through the trash of a business or private residence in order to find discarded documents that have sensitive information. This could include old credit card statements, medical records, or utility bills. Shredding documents is one of the best ways to avoid this type of fraud.
- Phishing. Many acts of identity theft occur online. One of the ways that your identity could be stolen through your email account is with a tactic known as phishing. Phishing involves sending an email to a target that looks as though it is from a bank, business, or other financial institution. However, when the target clicks a link in the email in an effort to log into the site, it will collect any personal information the user enters.
You may also be a victim of identity theft due to:
- Malware. Malware is another common issue. Malware is software that can wreak havoc on a personal computer. In some cases, this software can be used to spy on your computer and steal your information.
- Data breaches. Sometimes identity theft occurs on a large scale. This is most common following online data breaches. A data breach occurs when hackers penetrate the database of a website and steal the personal information of all of the users.
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Bogin, Munns & Munns Can Help with Your Identity Theft Case
If you have been the victim of identity theft, you deserve justice. For many people, identity theft can lead to severe financial strain. In some cases, it is challenging to undo the damage that fraud has caused in your life.
If you are ready to do something about your identity theft, the identity theft lawyers at Bogin, Munns & Munns are ready to help. Our Orlando attorneys will help you investigate your case and determine how your identity was stolen. We can then help you pursue legal action and seek compensation for your losses. To get started on your case, call today.