Identity theft is a problem that has been around as long as people have been getting credit. A criminal steals your wallet, and starts applying for credit in your name, getting credit cards, and uses their address on the applications. Now, criminals have even more ways to try to steal your credit and identity. Online identity theft is growing, and the crimes multiply.
If you suspect that your identity has been stolen, or someone stole your credit cards, you can take steps to fix the problem and repair your credit. First, you should get your credit report from at least one of the major bureaus, using annualcreditreport.com. You can get one free credit report each year from each of the three bureaus. Then, you should check the report carefully, to be sure all of your information is correct. And, you should dispute any inaccurate information, with both the credit bureaus and the businesses where the fraudulent activity took place.
Reporting the theft right away is the key. Too many times, I see people who didn’t act quickly, and are faced with so many collection calls, letters and lawsuits that they lose track of what charges might be fraudulent and what are legitimate. Don’t delay, report any problems, or suspected problems right way.
If you wait too long, you might be forced to file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to stop the collection activities.
If you think your identity has been stolen, and you need more information, call us, and we can help you recover your credit and fix the problems.
Daniel J. Winter
Offices in Chicago, Gurnee, Oak Lawn, and Skokie, Illinois.