Identity Theft and Illinois Law

 Posted on August 17, 2017 in Identity Theft

Chicago federal crime attorney, Cook County federal crime attorney, identity theft, social security number, Internet crimeThe Internet has become the main hub for most Americans who rely on its convenience for shopping, interacting with others, and even researching specific topics. While the Internet is deemed mostly safe, and its use is becoming more common, ways to access personal information have become easier.

Identity Theft and its Effect 

When a person uses another person’s information—one's name, address, social security number, banking information, etc.—to commit fraud or theft, then identity theft is committed. These people, commonly known as identity thieves, often gain access to personal information by the following methods:

  • Stealing ID and bank cards;
  • Stealing mail with personal banking information listed in the content;
  • Buying personal information from stores, restaurants, and hospitals;
  • Getting information off the Internet, including social media;
  • Completing a change of address form; and
  • Posing as a legitimate professional or government official, also known as “pretexting”.
Identity thieves typically open a bank or other financial account in the affected person’s name without his or her knowledge. When the identity thief collects the person’s information, then he or she may go on shopping sprees and buy “big ticket” products that can easily be sold. The identity thieves will use these bank accounts without paying the bills, thus causing the affected person’s credit report to be negatively impacted.

How to Determine if Affected by Identity Theft?

If a person is affected by identity theft, then he or she will often find unexplained charges and withdrawals in financial statements. The person may also not receive bills via mail, if the identity thief completes a change of address form.

The person may also receive unapplied credit cards, unexplained denial of credit, and calls from merchants regarding products that the person did not buy.

What to do if Affected by Identity Theft

When person is affected by identity theft, he or she must take action immediately to stop the identity thief from continuously using his or her personal information, and the person must also report such behavior to the police. The three major credit reporting agencies, such as Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, are always available to assist the person affected by identity theft. The person must also call all of his or her affiliated financial institutions and request top security on all accounts.

Call a Chicago Federal Crime Attorney if You Are Charged with Identity Theft

Identity theft is a very serious matter that could negatively affect a person’s quality of life. Attorney Hal Garfinkel has several years of experience in the federal crime practice, and he is always ready to get you started on your case. If you have been charged with identity theft, please call the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney at 312-629-0669 to get the help you need from a skilled Chicago internet crime defense lawyer.


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