black gavel and black binders

When you discover your identity has been compromised, you may not know how to proceed. Though it may feel like nothing can go right, there are laws in place to help protect your rights. Because identity theft can have dramatic impacts on the victims of this crime, it’s essential to understand the federal laws surrounding these issues. If you’re unfamiliar with the legislation in place, the following blog explores what you should know. You’ll also discover how a San Diego County identity theft lawyer can represent you.

What Federal Laws Help Identity Theft Victims?

One of the most significant laws is the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITADA). Because technology has been advancing at a rapid pace, making it easier to devise new ways to steal an identity, this law makes identity theft a federal crime. As such, anytime someone uses any part of a person’s identity to commit criminal activity, they are guilty of a federal offense and will likely face felony charges.

In addition to the ITADA, another law works in tandem to benefit those who have suffered the impacts of identity theft. The Identity Theft Penalty Enhancement Act (ITPEA), as the name suggests, increases the severity of the consequences for those facing a federal change. This law was enacted following the terror attacks on 9/11, as six of the perpetrators were using stolen identities. This brought to light the fact that stolen identities could be used for much more nefarious acts than taking out a credit card in someone else’s name. As such, anyone who knowingly uses or possesses the identity of another person will face two years minimum in prison for their actions.

What Should I Do if I Believe My Identity’s Been Compromised?

When you find that you are the victim of identity theft, you should immediately place a fraud alert on your credit account, which means that creditors must confirm your identity before opening an account. This option is ideal for those who are in the process of applying for loans when they discover the theft. However, if you are not applying for loans, you may want to place a credit freeze, which makes it impossible for anyone with your identity to take out a loan or open an account in your name.

You’ll also want to compile all evidence and documentation you can find concerning the theft. Not only does this include copies of your credit report or debt collection letters for a debt you didn’t take out, but any time you speak to any agencies or bureaus, you should document the dates and times of the calls, as well as names of representatives you’ve spoken to.

Finally, you’ll want to contact the team at Barthel Legal. Our dedicated firm understands the steps you should take during this process to help you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact us today to learn how we can assist in recovering your identity after it’s been compromised.