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Identity Theft & Credit Reporting Lawyers > Virginia & Washington DC Identity Theft Resolution Lawyer

Virginia & Washington DC Identity Theft Resolution Lawyer

As one of the fastest-growing crimes in the United States, identity theft affects us all. Whether we are just afraid our personal information will be stolen or fighting to correct our credit reports, it is clear that this epidemic is now part of our everyday reality.

As the problem grows, so too do the laws designed to combat and punish the perpetrators of identity theft. The Commonwealth of Virginia has several tough state laws, including the Identity Theft Protection Act of 2003. Identity theft crimes committed via computers, such as phishing and pharming, are considered felonies punishable by five to ten years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

Prosecuting identity theft fraud

In the United States, the perpetrator of aggravated identity theft can receive 15 years in prison if the value of the goods obtained is over $1,000 in a one-year period. Identity theft also can be prosecuted under many federal laws, including the following:

  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), originally passed in 1970
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) of 2003
  • Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act of 2007
  • Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act of 1998

Understanding identity theft in VA & Washington DC

Identity theft is a severe and pervasive crime that can have devastating consequences for individuals in Virginia and Washington, DC. It occurs when someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal information, such as their Social Security number, credit card details, or driver’s license, without their consent, typically for financial gain.

Typical forms of identity theft include financial identity theft, where thieves use stolen information to make unauthorized purchases or access financial accounts, and identity cloning, where the thief assumes the victim’s identity in everyday life.

The impact of identity theft on individuals in Virginia and Washington, DC, can be profound. Victims may face financial losses, damaged credit, and difficulties obtaining loans or lines of credit. They may also experience emotional distress, stress, and anxiety as they work to restore their identity and clear their name.

Additionally, identity theft can result in legal troubles for victims if the thief commits crimes in their name, leading to wrongful accusations and potential legal battles.

Statistics and trends related to identity theft in the region highlight the prevalence and severity of the issue. According to recent reports, identity theft continues to be a significant concern in both Virginia and Washington, DC, with thousands of cases reported each year.

Trends show that identity thieves are becoming increasingly sophisticated, using advanced technology and tactics to steal personal information and evade detection. As a result, it is more important than ever for individuals to be vigilant about protecting their personal information and taking proactive steps to prevent identity theft.

Why you need qualified identity theft help

Identity theft is a very serious crime that merits decisive action. At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., our Virginia & Washington DC identity theft lawyers can provide identity theft help with everything from credit report disputes to litigation.

Errors or fraudulent activity appearing on your credit report can be financially devastating. As a result of identity theft, you could be denied credit, employment as well as housing and utilities.

To report identity theft in Fairfax, you should take the following action right away:

  • Notify the police and get a copy of the report
  • Cancel credit and debit cards related to theft
  • Ask the credit bureaus to put a fraud alert on your credit file
  • Put your dispute in writing and submit it to the dispute address for each of the three credit bureaus
  • Download and complete the identity theft affidavit available from the Federal Trade Commission or FTC website
  • Send a completed FTC identity theft affidavit to your credit card companies, banks and credit bureaus

At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., our identity theft attorneys are knowledgeable about Fairfax identity theft laws and understand the importance of maintaining an accurate credit report.

How do I fix my credit after identity theft?

Anyone, anywhere, can be a victim of identity theft. Millions of victims are affected each year, and many don’t realize it’s happened until a problem appears on a loan application or a credit report. Identity theft can ruin your credit score and deeply impact your ability to live your life, which is why it’s key to take the steps below to clear your name and fix your credit as soon as you realize you’ve been a victim of identity theft:

Step 1: Call your credit card company

As soon as you realize you’ve been the victim of identity theft, you should call your credit card company to notify them your card has been stolen. Notifying them immediately allows them to deactivate the card or cards and possibly prevent further losses. Many credit card companies also provide immediate refunds for fraudulent purchases.

Step 2: Notify police

Once active credit cards are halted, you should notify law enforcement and file a police report. In some cases, they may be able to track down the person who stole your information. But even if they can’t, having an official record of the incident is beneficial as you go through the process of dealing with lenders and creditors.

Step 3: Save all documents and records

This is an ongoing requirement, but as soon as you realize any inconsistencies in your credit reports or bills, start saving all of your documents and keeping track of calls and emails related to the issue. You should pull previous credit card bills, too, and examine them for any unusual activity you may have missed.

Step 4: Activate a fraud alert

Contact the credit reporting agencies to place an initial fraud alert on your credit report that requires lenders to contact you directly via phone or another method to authorize new lines of credit. This can help prevent an individual who has stolen your information from opening new lines of credit in your name even after you’ve canceled existing cards. This can be extended into a 7-year fraud alert after an identity theft report to keep you protected.

Step 5: Find and dispute errors

Obtain copies of all of your credit reports and thoroughly examine them for errors, writing every error down. Once you have a complete list, write a letter of dispute detailing each of the incorrect entries and send it to one of the credit reporting agencies with a copy of the police report you filed. It’s also useful to obtain a letter from your credit card company regarding the fraudulent use to support your claim. The credit bureaus must respond to your claims within 30 days. You must send your disputes to each credit reporting agency that reported the inaccurate information.

Step 6: Contact other financial institutions

Once you have contacted the credit reporting agencies, you should reach out to the creditors and companies that supplied information for your credit report to inform them that you are disputing claims due to identity theft.

Step 7: Follow up

Once you’ve filed all of the necessary information, you need to stay on top of the process and follow up with all of the agencies, lenders and companies involved. You should check in about every 30 days and continue to take notes of all phone calls and emails.

A good lawyer can help you fix your credit after identity theft and ensure nothing falls through the cracks. If you have further questions or need assistance clearing your name after identity theft, call our lawyers at Blankingship & Christiano today at (571) 307-6419.

Blankingship & Christiano, P.C.’s approach to identity theft resolution

Focused Experience

At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., we understand the devastating impact that identity theft can have on individuals in Virginia and Washington, DC. That’s why we have a dedicated focus on Identity Theft Resolution cases.

Our attorneys have extensive experience handling complex identity theft issues and are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the intricacies of these cases. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of representation, working tirelessly to achieve favorable outcomes and restore their peace of mind.

Comprehensive legal support

Regarding identity theft resolution, Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. offers comprehensive legal assistance to our clients. We understand that each case is unique and tailor our approach to meet our client’s specific needs and goals.

Our range of services for resolving identity theft cases includes investigating the source of the theft, disputing fraudulent accounts and transactions, working with credit reporting agencies to correct inaccuracies in credit reports, and representing clients in legal proceedings, if necessary. We provide personalized guidance and support every step of the way, ensuring our clients have the resources to resolve their identity theft issues effectively.

Collaborative efforts with law enforcement

At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., we believe in taking a collaborative approach to resolving identity theft cases. We work closely with law enforcement agencies in Virginia and Washington, DC, to report identity theft incidents promptly and provide them with the necessary information and evidence to pursue criminal charges against the perpetrators.

We understand the importance of swift action in these cases and are committed to working hand-in-hand with law enforcement to hold identity thieves accountable for their actions. By collaborating with law enforcement agencies, we can help ensure that justice is served and that our client’s rights are protected throughout the resolution process

Common types of identity theft cases

Financial identity theft

Financial identity theft is one of the most prevalent forms involving unauthorized access to an individual’s financial accounts and personal information for fraudulent purposes. At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., we assist clients in addressing issues related to unauthorized financial transactions, such as fraudulent credit card charges, unauthorized bank account withdrawals, and unauthorized loans taken out in the victim’s name.

Our strategies for resolving financial identity theft cases include working with financial institutions to recover stolen funds, disputing fraudulent charges with credit reporting agencies, and implementing measures to restore our clients’ credit and economic stability.

Criminal identity theft

Criminal identity theft occurs when a perpetrator uses the victim’s identity to commit crimes, resulting in the victim being wrongfully accused or having a criminal record falsely attributed to them. At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., we understand the severe implications of criminal identity theft and its impact on our clients’ lives.

We explore legal steps to clear the victim’s name and criminal record, including gathering evidence to prove the victim’s innocence, working with law enforcement agencies to rectify the situation, and pursuing legal remedies to remove erroneous criminal records from the victim’s name. Our goal is to ensure that our clients are not unfairly penalized for crimes they did not commit and to protect their rights throughout the process.

Medical identity theft

Medical identity theft is a growing concern in the healthcare sector, involving the unauthorized use of an individual’s personal information for fraudulent medical billing and insurance claims. At Blankingship & Christiano, P.C., we recognize the challenges of medical identity theft and the potential consequences for our client’s financial well-being and medical records.

We assist clients in resolving issues related to fraudulent medical billing and insurance claims, including disputing fraudulent charges with healthcare providers and insurers, correcting inaccuracies in medical records, and advocating for our client’s rights to ensure they are not held responsible for unauthorized medical expenses. Our comprehensive approach to medical identity theft cases aims to protect our client’s interests and alleviate the financial and emotional burden caused by this type of identity theft.

Schedule an appointment with experienced identity theft lawyers

If you are the victim of identity theft and need to understand how identity theft laws in Fairfax and throughout Virginia and nationwide can protect you, contact Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. Virginia & Washington DC identity theft resolution lawyer at (571) 307-6419 or online to discuss your case.

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