When you start getting calls from creditors about a debt you never took out, you may think it’s a scam call. However, when you request a copy of your credit report and see a new card opened in your name, you may begin to panic. Unfortunately, millions of people are affected by identity theft each year and may not realize it until it is too late. Keep reading to learn more about who is most vulnerable to identity theft and discover how a California identity theft victim lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Constitutes Identity Theft?
Any time someone uses your information without your authorization or consent to make purchases, take out loans, open accounts, or file false insurance claims. Generally, this includes using your name, phone number, address, and social security number. This information is taken in a number of ways, including data breaches, physical theft (mail and phone theft), and cyber hacking measures.
What Groups Are Most Vulnerable to Identity Theft?
Unfortunately, the group that is most impacted by identity theft is senior citizens. Many of the tactics used by scammers to steal information from this group are rooted in technology. Many older adults are not familiar with these tactics and, as a result, may not understand whether it is an IRS agent on the line or someone looking to steal their information.
Similarly, children are targets of identity theft due to the fact that they have a clean slate. Many parents do not check their children’s credit because they are not making purchases or opening accounts, and as a result, do not notice there is debt against their children. Unfortunately, this means their children will enter adulthood with a poor credit score.
What Can I Do to Protect Myself?
One of the best ways to protect yourself as a consumer is to regularly check your credit score. Unfortunately, many people do not do this as often as they should, which is once a year. This allows you to check for inconsistencies and irregularities in the report and act immediately.
You should also avoid inputting your personal information on any websites that seem unsecured. If the website has deals that seem too good to be true or are full of errors and inconsistencies, it’s best to avoid putting your data in.
Similarly, you should confirm with your bank and lenders how they will contact you if necessary. This helps you know that the financial information you took out a car loan with will not send you text messages as a form of communication.
If you’ve been a victim of identity theft, Loker Law can help. Our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help you regain control of your financial future. Contact us today to learn how we can fight for you.