Identity theft is a criminal act. It occurs when a person obtains another party's personal information, documents, credit cards, or ID and uses it to commit fraud. For example, a person may use another person's identity to open new credit card accounts. He may even sign for a car loan or travel while using another person's name and identifying information. An identity theft lawyer is an attorney who takes on cases involving identity theft. He may for example, help a victim of identity theft fix the effects of the crime or get law enforcement officials and account representatives to take action.
Figuring out what to do and whom to contact can be difficult in an identity theft case. Often, there may seem to be an endless sea of red tape to work through before a person is able to make the smallest amount of headway. A person may hire an identity theft lawyer in the hopes of seeing faster results.
An identity theft lawyer may help a fraud victim by having a fraud notification placed in the victim's credit file. He may also help facilitate the expedient closing of accounts that have been opened fraudulently or compromised. This type of attorney may also have a police report filed on the victim's behalf or help deal with authorities if a victim has been arrested because of an identity thief's criminal behavior. An identity theft lawyer may even search for other accounts that have been opened in the victim's name. At the very least, an identity theft lawyer may be able to offer the victim legal advice about how to proceed.
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Identity theft often costs its victim more than money; it often causes him to lose the ability to make legitimate transactions. For example, a person may steal a social security number and other identifying information and use it to empty the victim's bank accounts. He may also open credit cards in the victim's name and create bills he has no intention of paying; this may ruin the victim's credit score and leave him unable to qualify for credit on his own. In some cases, he may be unable to open a new bank account or secure a rental property because of the damage done by an identity thief. Sometimes an identity thief will even be arrested in the victim's name, leaving the victim to deal with criminal issues as well.