When you've become the victim of a stolen identity your troubles have just begun. The mess you are left to clean up can be quite dramatic. Some people may only have to dispute a few unauthorized charges and have their credit cards replaced. Others may have to fight with credit card companies about cards they never opened or even fight with mortgage companies about homes they never purchased. Who can you turn to for identity theft assistance if you become the victim of the crime?
The best approach to identity theft is a pro-active one. Hopefully you looked into identity theft protection before becoming a victim of the crime. Credit monitoring services often offer insurance against theft of your identity and services to help you recover from the crime. From reimbursement of lost wages to legal assistance with creditors these insurance policies are one of the best resources for assistance before you are a victim of identity theft.
If you have become the victim of theft of your identity and you did not have identity theft protection in place you will need to turn to the authorities. The FTC and your local law enforcement agencies are a good place to start. You are going to want to dispute all of the fraudulent credit activity on your credit report and you're going to need a police report to do that, so filing a complaint with the FTC and local law enforcement is step one.
Depending on how the creditors react when you advise them of the crime you may need to hire a lawyer. While many creditors are willing to assist consumers who have been victimized by identity theft some will offer no assistance for your stolen identity at all. If you end up dealing with a company like this a lawyer will be able to help you understand your rights and what you are and are not responsible for.