One of the great things about the digital age is all the different ways we can connect with those around us. However, some people take advantage of the ever-changing platforms, creating new ways to scam and defraud others online. One way the internet is changing is through synthetic identity theft. This is an increasingly popular form of identity theft, so understanding what it is and what to look for is essential. Keep reading to learn more about this form of fraud and discover how a California identity theft victim lawyer can assist you.
What Does Synthetic Identity Theft Mean?
Synthetic identity theft occurs when a thief takes sensitive information from a victim, such as their social security number, and combines it with other information to create a new identity. For example, they may purchase a social security number through illegal methods and make up a name, birthday, phone number, and mailing address. However, they may slightly alter an existing person’s identity through identity manipulation.
Unfortunately, these thieves are intelligent, taking time to build up their credit before getting a large sum of money and disappearing.
While this form of theft can impact anyone, there are certain groups more at risk than others, like children, the elderly, and those who are incarcerated. This is because they may not check their credit reports frequently or at all to be alert to potential identity theft.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Protect Myself?
Like any form of identity theft, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. However, with synthetic identity theft, taking additional steps is crucial to shielding yourself. For example, you’ll want to refrain from sharing sensitive information online, such as your phone number or date of birth. Thieves can use this information to create a new identity.
You’ll also want to ensure you regularly monitor your credit scores. Unfortunately, failure to check your reports regularly makes it easy for thieves to get away with these actions. You can check your report with the three major credit bureaus once per year, which helps you stay alert to fraud.
If you notice any unusual activity on your accounts, it’s necessary to take immediate action. You’ll first want to call each of the bureaus and request a freeze on your account. Next, you’ll want to report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission.
Finally, you’ll want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At Loker Law, our dedicated legal team has the experience necessary to fight for and protect consumers. We understand how frustrating and damaging identity theft can be, which is why we’re dedicated to helping you. Contact us today to learn how we will fight for the justice you deserve.