Discover what an identity theft attorney can (and can’t) do for you.
If you’ve had your personal information compromised, you might be thinking about whether or not to hire an identity theft attorney. There are a number of blogs on the Internet dedicated to helping you reclaim your identity after it’s been stolen. While some advocate hiring an attorney, others maintain that lawyers are useless.
So what’s the real truth? And how will you know if hiring an identity theft attorney is right for you? Keep reading for the information you need to know.
The Basics of Identity Theft
One of the biggest problems associated with identity theft is the damage to your credit score, your finances, and even your reputation. In some instances, the theft is minor and limited to something as simple as a credit card.
However, in more complicated cases, the identity thieves have access to vital personal information which allows them to impersonate you on a variety of levels. They can take out loans in your name, open new credit cards, even apply for jobs and defraud the government. In the worst cases, you constantly have to be on guard against future fraud.
Understanding What an Attorney Can (and Can’t) Do to Help with Identity Theft
There are a number of misconceptions about what an identity theft attorney can do. It’s true they can aid you in recovering stolen money and rectifying any damage done to your credit score. But they can also do a lot more than that.
In some instances, the fraudster may be impersonating you in a very public fashion. This can do damage to your personal and professional reputation, making it impossible for you to do simple things like obtaining employment, renting an apartment, or even passing a basic background check. While the police are usually tasked with finding the perpetrator, it can be almost impossible for the department to allocate the resources needed to solve identity theft cases.
By contrast, an experienced identity theft attorney has a variety of top-notch industry contacts. They should have relationships with experts in fields like forensic accounting and private investigation. So, in the event the police failed to track down the perpetrator, you can rely on a team of qualified professionals acting on your behalf.
Once the criminal is identified, your attorney can help determine whether a third-party can be held liable for your injuries. In instances where your data was compromised as part of a corporate security breach, you may have the grounds to recover compensation for losses on both a financial and reputational basis.
When to Hire an Identity Theft Attorney
When asking yourself whether or not to hire an attorney, it’s best to look at the scope of fraud you’re facing. Was the stolen information limited to something as simple as a credit card number? If yes, then it’s unlikely you’ll need an attorney’s services.
However, if your Social Security number, birthdate, and other biographical information have been stolen, then there is virtually no limit to the kinds of fraud you could fall victim to. Some of the worst types of identity theft including pretending to be someone else during the commission of a crime, using your name and insurance information to obtain medical care and services fraudulently, and getting commercial credit from a variety of sources.