Are You A Victim of Identity Theft? The Law Can Protect You

"Identity Theft Man" shows that theft can happen anywhere in the world.

It’s a common, and unfortunate, belief that identity theft only happens to people “with money”, that is to say, the rich. The reason why this belief is unfortunate is that attackers target us all. Anyone can become a victim of identity theft.

The reason for this is that attackers commonly look for the biggest reward for the least amount of effort. The recent news about over 79 banks having their data breached demonstrates this. Hackers and other identity thieves target databases that store information about many people. If your information happens to be in the database, it may be collected and used for malicious purposes. Even if the person or the people who obtained your identity don’t use it themselves, they may share or sell your information to someone who will.

If this should happen to you, do you know what to do? Who to call and how much time you have to report fraudulent activity? What sort of protections are in place for you as a consumer?

The Run Down

  • It is important to pay attention to your credit information so that you can minimize any potential damage.
  • Should you fall prey to identity theft, there are various laws that limit your liability for fraudulent debt.
  • Check with your local state attorney general’s office for information specific to where you live.

Did you know that there are laws in place that can cap your liability for fraudulent debts incurred by identity theft?

Fraudulent Credit Card Charges

If you receive a statement with fraudulent charges you have 60 days from when you received the statement to report it to your credit card company. You should not be held liable for more than $50 of the fraudulent charges made with your card.

Note: Some credit card companies will not hold their card holders liable for any fraudulent transactions.

Lost or Stolen ATM/Debit Card

As with credit cards you should not be held liable for more than $50 of fradulent charges made with your lost or stolen ATM/Debt card. However, you do have to advise your bank or credit union within two business of the card theft or misplacement.

Note: Not reporting the loss of your card immediately could mean more fraudulent charges and an increase in the amount of money your bank or credit union will hold you accountable for.

Fraudulent Electronic Withdrawals

Should you notice any fraudulent withdrawals made from your bank or credit union account and your card has not been misplaced or stolen, you should not be held liable so long as you notify your bank or credit union. Correspondence must be made within 60 days, in writing, of when the statement with the fraudulent withdraws was sent to you.

Fraudulent Checks

When it comes to fraudulent checks, the laws vary by state. You could be held liable for a limited amount of fraudulent checks as long as you notify your bank or credit union immediately. Check your state laws on fraudulent checks for further information.

Fraudulent New Accounts

Again, your liability is dependent on your state laws. In most cases you will not be held liable for any debt incurred through fraudulent accounts opened in your name without your permission. Be sure to contact your state attorney general’s office for more information.

The Takeaway

Identity theft is an increasing concern. Even if you have taken all of the steps to protect your personal and financial information, security breaches at online vendors, banks, and other organizations may put your sensitive details at risk. If your data is compromised, where would you start? This is where AmOne comes in. Our knowledgeable associates are ready to help you contact the appropriate agencies and to guide you through the process of reclaiming your financial identity. AmOne offers solutions; your call to us is free and we won’t try to sell you anything. Find out how to reach us and learn more about how AmOne can help you today.