Though the internet is great for finding information, connecting with loved ones, and effectively changing how we live, it has also made it significantly easier to become a victim of identity theft. When you find your identity has been stolen, it’s essential to understand that the law is on your side. If you’re a victim of identity theft, it’s vital to understand the legislation in place to protect your rights. Keep reading to learn more about federal laws and discover how a California identity theft victim lawyer can help you fight for justice.
What Federal Laws Can Help Protect Me if I’m a Victim of Identity Theft?
The Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998 is a law that makes identity theft a federal crime. This was enacted due to the rise in crime coinciding with the internet surge. When someone knowingly commits or aids in identity theft. This also allows the offense to be punished more severely if it was committed in occurrence with another felony.
In 2004, the Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act came after the terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001. As some of the perpetrators were using the stolen identity of others, it was made explicit how dangerous identity theft could be. Thus, this law enhanced the penalties for those accused of aggravated identity theft, which includes transmitting or using someone’s personal information to act as them. This includes birthdays, names, social security numbers, or credit cards. Anyone accused of this offense can face two years in prison and up to five for instances of terrorism. However, this is in conjunction with any additional charges the perpetrator faces.
What Can I Do if I Discover that My Identity Was Stolen?
If you discover that your identity is stolen, you may not know what to do. The most important thing is to contact the three major credit unions to put a freeze on your credit. This ensures you can verify your identity before new credit lines are opened in your name.
Once you’ve taken the necessary steps to protect your credit, you’ll want to contact an experienced identity theft attorney. They’ll be able to protect you by advocating for your rights when your identity is compromised. If the perpetrator is caught, an attorney can help hold them responsible. However, if your rights as a consumer were violated by a third party, such as a merchant or financial institution, which caused your identity to be stolen, an attorney can help find them liable.
When you need help, Loker Law is ready to represent you. Our dedicated legal team will review the details of your case to fight for the justice you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how our firm can assist you.