What Can Happen When Your Identity is Stolen
Identity theft is a serious crime. The person who commits the crime is in violation of federal laws and you are in the horrible position of not knowing what is being done under your own name. This can be a very scary situation for the victim. Some people however do not fully understand the implications of having their identity stolen and this is why I am writing this article.
Having had my identity stolen, I can tell you firsthand how severe the consequences can be. Keep reading to learn what can happen to you as the victim of identity theft so you can gain a better understanding of how severe the consequences really are.
People who have their identity stolen may think that all it takes is finding out and reporting it in order to get things all cleared up. This could not be further from the truth. It takes more than just a few phone calls and letters to set things right again. The majority of identity theft victims spend years trying to recover from the damage caused by the theft.
If your identity is stolen it is very possible that you can lose everything you have; your cars, your home – everything. This is because someone has run up bills and credit in your name that is not being paid back. Several victims of identity theft have to file bankruptcy in order to hold on to their rightful possessions. This is very unfair but it is simply how things can happen.
As mentioned above, identity theft can totally ruin your credit. Think of this; someone steals your identity and obtains 5 credit cards in your name. Or maybe they get some personal loans in your name – maybe both. Being a thief they have no intention of paying these bills.
That is the whole point of identity theft; the get to use your name and credit to buy the things that they want and stick you with the bill. Imagine how long it would take to get such a situation resolved.
Once you credit is messed up by an identity thief you will not be able to get the things that you want or need until the matter is resolved. This means that you will not be able to purchase a new car, a home or get any other lines of credit.
The credit lines you already have will likely be frozen, suspended or turned over to collection agencies until these businesses can know for certain that you had your identity stolen which again, can take quite a long time as they cannot simply take your word for it.
Investigations must be done in order to gather evidence and prove to your creditors that you are not responsible for the changes incurred.
We all know what a pain in the neck it can be to move from one home to another. We have to change our address at the post office, bank and other places you do business with. Now recall how this felt and multiply it by 100 and then you know how tough identity theft can be. You may not have to change your address for informational purposes, but you will have to call all of your credit card companies to report the theft and have the cards cancelled or frozen. Y
ou will have to contact your bank or credit union and have them give you a new account number and a new debit card with a different number. There are many people that you may have to contact in order to make sure that the thief does not have the ability to keep stealing from you and this can be overwhelming, stressful and just plain angering.
So, if you thought that identity theft was no big deal to take care of, I do hope that this article has educated you on the matter and that you now understand just how serious this crime really is.