Credit and Bankruptcy Law
What is identity theft?
Identity theft, the fastest growing crime in America, refers to someone else committing fraud by using your account information or stealing your identity to make monetary purchases. There are different types of identity theft. For example, if someone steals your credit card or writes down your credit card number, they may commit fraud by using that card to make purchases.
At other times someone calls your credit card company with your credit card number and makes a change-of-address. They then have the statements billed to this new address and begin using your card in this manner. To help detect these unauthorized change of address requests, many financial institutions mail a change of address notification or confirmation to the original (old) address after they receive a change of address request. Make sure to read all notifications sent to you by your financial institutions carefully, and contact your financial institutions immediately if you believe any unauthorized or fraudulent activity may have occurred or been attempted regarding one of your accounts.
Perhaps the most common type of identity theft occurs when someone pretends to be you and opens up new accounts in your name. They may start credit card accounts, cell phone accounts, checking accounts and other accounts that are simply not yours.