Identity Theft Lawyer
Criminal Law

A Complete And Detailed Guide To An Identity Theft Lawyer

| August 5, 2023

Remember that episode in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. where Monica experienced identity theft? That woman stole her credit card and signed up for tap dancing?

Similarly, did you suddenly see money deducted from your bank account even though you did not spend it on anything? Have you become a victim of unauthorized transactions on your bank account? Do you see unknown bills made out to your credit card?

This means that you are a victim of credit card fraud and, indirectly, a victim of identity theft. So, what can you do in such a situation?

First, you should contact the relevant authorities like the police and the bank. Then you should contact an identity theft lawyer. They are basically the type of lawyers who can assist you in disputing these charges and recovering your money. So, if you find yourself Googling “identity theft victim lawyer near me,” we are here to help you.  

To understand if you need an identity theft lawyer, let us first understand what identity theft is.

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a situation when someone steals, gets, or uses your personal information without your permission. They use it with the intention of committing fraud or other criminal activities. This stolen personal data can include your name, address, Social Security number, credit card details, bank account information, and anything else that can be held against you. The identity thief can then use this data to open new accounts, make unauthorized purchases, or even commit crimes. They do all of it while pretending to be you.

How Can You Know That You Are A Victim Of Identity Theft? Answer These Questions To Find Out.

Lawyers can be expensive. Identify theft lawyers are no different. You can make sure that you are a victim before you visit an identity theft lawyer. This could save you a lot of money and effort.  

Identity theft can have serious consequences. It can affect your finances, reputation, and overall well-being. Knowing that you are facing identity theft early is very important. It can help you take steps to undo the damage and protect yourself.

So, What Can Identity Theft Look Like?

  • You Notice Unexpected and Unknown Financial Activities

Have you seen any unauthorized transactions on your bank statements or credit card bills, unfamiliar withdrawals from your accounts, or sudden changes in your credit score?

  • Unknown Opening Up Of Accounts or Strange Inquiries

Did you receive notifications or statements for accounts you didn’t open, such as credit cards, loans, or utility services?

Have you noticed unfamiliar inquiries on your credit report, indicating someone might be trying to open credit in your name?

  •  There is A Change In Your Mail or Email Pattern

Has important emails, such as bank statements, credit card bills, or official documents, stopped arriving in your mailbox?

Did you miss any expected emails from financial institutions or other organizations?

  • Suspicious Calls or Emails Are Flooding Your Devices

Did you receive calls or emails from supposed financial institutions, government agencies, or companies asking for personal information, passwords, or account details?

  • Unexpectedly Denied Credit or Loan Applications

Were your credit or loan applications unexpectedly denied despite having a good credit history?

  • Your Tax Record Looks Weird

Has the IRS received multiple tax returns filed in your name or unpaid taxes for income you didn’t earn?

  • Your Personal Info Was Updated, But You Did Not Do It

Is there an incorrect change made to your personal information, such as your address, email, or phone number, has been changed without your knowledge?

If your answer to any of these questions above is YES, you are most probably a victim of identity theft. 

Who Is An Identity Theft Lawyer?

Now that you are clear on what exactly identity theft is let us know all about an identity theft attorney. A legal professional who specializes in helping individuals who have been victims of identity theft is an identity theft lawyer.

What To Look For In Your Identity Theft Attorney?

If you find yourself a victim of identity theft and need legal assistance, apart from having a JD (law degree), these are a must-have for your identity theft lawyer.

Specialization in Identity Theft Law

Look for a lawyer who has experience dealing specifically with identity theft cases and a track record of successful outcomes.

They Should Have Dealt With Consumer Protection Laws

As you must have guessed, you are the consumer, and when you suffer identity theft, your rights are infringed. Thus, identity theft is closely tied to consumer protection laws. Your attorney should know and deal with these laws.

They should know how they apply to identity theft cases. Some of these laws that you could ask your attorney about include:

  • the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and 
  • the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITADA).

They Should Have Practical Knowledge of Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

You got your info stolen. This is both identity theft and data breach. Most identity theft often involves data breaches and cybercrime. An effective identity theft lawyer should have knowledge of data privacy and cybersecurity issues to handle cases involving digital theft and online fraud.

Your Attorney Should Be Open To Communication and Show Empathy

An identity theft lawyer should be a good communicator and empathetic listener. They should be able to understand your concerns and explain legal concepts in a way that you can easily grasp.

A Fairly High Success Rate in Identity Theft Cases Is A Big Plus

Look for a lawyer with a successful track record of handling identity theft cases. Past successes demonstrate their ability to navigate complex legal matters and achieve positive outcomes for their clients.

Your Lawyer Should Have Affiliations And Connections

A lawyer’s affiliation with relevant professional organizations can indicate their commitment to staying up-to-date with legal developments in the field of identity theft. 

When consulting an identity theft attorney for the first time, ask them if they have affiliations with the American Bar Association (ABA) or the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA).

Do You Feel You Can Trust Your Lawyer With Sensitive Information?

Identity theft involves sensitive personal information, so you’ll want a lawyer who maintains strict confidentiality and is trustworthy in handling your case.

How Can Your Identity Theft Lawyer Help You?

By now, you are up to speed on most matters regarding identity theft. So, now, let us tell you what you can and should expect your identity theft attorney to do for you once you have hired them.

They Will First Explain Your Rights To You and Give Immediate Relief

An identity lawyer will explain your rights as an identity theft victim and what steps you can take to fix the problem. They’ll tell you about laws that protect victims like you and guide you on the best course of action.

For example, let us picture that someone stole your credit card information and used it to buy things without your permission. An identity lawyer will help you understand what rights you have in this situation and how to get your money back.

They Will Collect Evidence

Identity lawyers will help you gather proof of identity theft. They’ll ask for documents like police reports, credit reports, and financial statements to show that someone stole your identity.

If someone has opened a bank account in your name and used it to take out loans, an identity lawyer will help you collect evidence to show that it wasn’t you who did it.

Talking to Banks and Other Financial Institutions

An identity lawyer will communicate with credit bureaus and banks on your behalf. They’ll write letters to dispute fraudulent accounts and inquiries on your credit report, which will help improve your credit score.

Taking Steps Against Further Fraud

Identity lawyers can place fraud alerts or security freezes on your credit reports. This adds an extra layer of protection, making it harder for thieves to open new accounts in your name.

Fighting Financial Charges

If the identity theft caused you to owe money for things you didn’t buy, an identity lawyer can help you dispute those charges and work with the companies involved to settle the issue.

Disputing Criminal Charges Against You Caused By Impersonator

In cases where the thief used your identity to commit crimes, an identity lawyer will work to clear your name from any criminal records linked to the theft.

Last But Not The Least, They Give Emotional Support

Beyond legal help, identity lawyers can also offer emotional support. They understand that identity theft can be stressful, and they will be there to comfort and advise you through the process.

hat Is The Cost Of Hiring An Identity Theft Lawyer?

If you need help from an identity theft lawyer, the cost can vary.  It can vary on how complex your case is, the lawyer’s experience, where they work, and how they charge.

Some Lawyers Charge By The Hour.

The cost per hour can range from $100 to $500 or more, depending on the lawyer’s experience and where they practice. The total cost will depend on how much time they spend on your case.

Can They Charge A Flat Fee?

In some cases, lawyers offer a fixed fee for specific services, like helping with credit report disputes or placing fraud alerts on your credit reports. This can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Do They Charge On A Contingency Fee Basis?

Some lawyers work on a contingency basis. This means they only get paid if they win your case or get a settlement for you. They’ll take a percentage (usually around 25% to 40%) of what you recover.

Can They Charge A Retainer Fee?

Some lawyers might ask for an upfront retainer fee. It’s money you pay in advance to secure their services. They’ll bill against this retainer as they work on your case. If the money runs out, you might need to add more.

Can You Negotiate For A Hybrid Fee Structure?

Some lawyers use a mix of the above fee structures. You can request and negotiate with them, tailor them to fit their charging method to best fit your case’s specific needs.

How To Get An “Identity Theft Victim Lawyer Near Me”?

A good identity theft attorney near you doesn’t have to be a difficult thing. You can start by going through the following steps.

Friends, Family, and Recommendations Always To The Rescue

Go ahead and ask your friends, family, or colleagues if they have had any experience with identity theft lawyers or if they know someone who has. Personal recommendations can be extremely trustworthy and come from people you trust.

Google, Bing, Search Online

Use search engines and legal directories to find identity theft attorneys in your area. Look for lawyers who specialize in identity theft or consumer protection law.

Reviews Don’t Lie

Check online reviews and testimonials from previous clients. These can give you insights into the lawyer’s reputation and how they handle their cases.

Authorities Will Help You Out

Many state and local bar associations have lawyer referral services. These services can get you good attorneys in your area.

Test The Waters By Booking Consultations

Once you have a list of potential attorneys, schedule consultations with them. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations where you can discuss your case and assess if they are a good fit for you.

And lastly, trust your instincts when choosing a lawyer. You should feel confident and comfortable with the attorney you select. Make sure, to be honest, transparent, and straightforward with your problems. Allow them to see your problems for what they are to come up with the best solutions.

Finally, What To Do Right After You Find Out About Identity Theft?

If you’re a victim of identity theft, take immediate action. 

  • Stay calm and act quickly. 
  • Report the suspicious activities to the banks and ask them to freeze your account.

Some credit bureaus that can help you out in these situations include:

  • Equifax, 
  • Experian, or 
  • TransUnion.

Report the identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission through their official website. 

  • The toll-free Identity Theft Hotline is 1-877-ID-THEFT (1-877-438-4338).

Lastly, file a report at your nearest police department. 

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Jyoti Jha
Jyoti Jha

Jyoti Jha is a freelance SEO content writer for tech , health, and education-related content. With 5 years of experience in the industry, I am creating high-quality content that captivates readers and delivers value.

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