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The internet is constantly evolving, meaning how online criminals operate is also changing. Those who prey on the vulnerability of others are creating new ways to scam and defraud individuals. One crime on the rise is synthetic identity theft. Understanding this kind of theft and how to prevent it is vital to protecting yourself from the damages. This blog explores what you must know about these circumstances and how a San Diego County identity theft lawyer can assist you if you’ve suffered damages.

What Should I Know About Synthetic Identity Theft?

Synthetic identity theft occurs when thieves take portions of a real person’s identity and combine it with fake information to create a brand-new identity.

Thieves can access someone’s personal information through hacking or purchasing it on the dark web. They will then use these details, such as someone’s social security number and date of birth with fake names and addresses to build credit. Once they have a decent score, they will use this identity to take out a considerable amount of money in loans or purchases before abandoning it. Unfortunately, this can leave the person whose social security number was used suffering from the impacts of the theft.

Synthetic identity theft can impact anyone. However, there are groups more vulnerable to this than others. Generally, children are the most at risk since they are seen as clean slates with no credit associated with their social security number.

Who Can Face Liability for Damages?

In general, it can be hard to locate the person directly responsible for using your information to create a fake identity. However, this does not mean you cannot receive justice for any damages you may have endured as a result of the theft. For example, if your information was part of a data breach and that’s how your information was obtained, the company at the center of the breach can face liability for its failure to protect consumer data.

How Can I Protect Myself?

If you wish to protect yourself from synthetic identity theft, the most important thing to do is refrain from sharing your personal information on the internet. Even something as simple as your full name, phone number, and birthday could be used to create a synthetic identity.

Additionally, it’s vital to monitor your credit report regularly. Unfortunately, many only review their report before applying for a loan, meaning your credit could be impacted for months without you ever knowing. You can receive one credit report per agency per year for free, allowing you to check your credit report once every three months.

When your identity has been compromised, the Law Office of Barthel Legal can assist you during these challenging times. We understand how complex these matters can be. As such, we will do everything possible to assist you and help you regain control of your identity. Contact our firm today to learn how we can be of assistance to you.