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The impact identity theft can have on your life may be shocking. Not only could you face issues with your credit score and report, but your Social Security number and date of birth could wind up on the dark web. 

When your identity has been stolen, it is critical to get an experienced legal advocate on your side who can help you get through these difficult times. Reach out to a dedicated Newark identity theft lawyer at Berger Montague for a free consultation today.

What Is Identity Theft?

When someone else takes your personal information or data and attempts to or uses this information to assume your identity, you are a victim of identity theft. Identity theft is a major cause of concern across Newark and the entire country. 

When an offender uses your Social Security number, name, or other personal information for their own personal or financial interests, that constitutes identity theft. Some of the more common reasons for identity theft crimes in Newark include:

  • Using someone’s personal information to purchase goods or services
  • Using someone’s personal information to obtain credit, such as a credit card or payday loan
  • Giving or transferring someone else’s personal information without their consent
  • Presenting someone else’s personal identification or information as being their own when being arrested by the police
  • Providing someone else’s personal information when receiving medical treatment in order to avoid paying for services

Identity theft frequently occurs online, with identity thieves compiling publicly available information and using it for their benefit. Identity theft can also be perpetrated by friends, acquaintances, household employees, roommates, ex-spouses, and partners. 

As more consumers’ personal information is available online, this data is easier to obtain illegally. It also leaves opportunities for individuals to be wrongfully accused of criminal offenses. 

How Criminals Use Stolen Identities

Many people who turn to identity theft hope to access loans, and lines of credit, or enter financial partnerships to further their own financial interests. If someone has stolen your personal identification information, they can use this information in a number of ways, such as:

  • Opening up lines of credit without your consent
  • Giving police your name when questioned regarding criminal activity
  • Opening up lines of credit in children’s names
  • Obtaining certain types of utility services
  • Receiving medical care after giving healthcare providers your personal information

These are only a few of the ways people who steal identities could use your personal information to commit crimes and otherwise benefit themselves. You may find yourself dealing with unpaid bills that are not yours, trouble with law enforcement, and trouble being approved for your own lines of credit and loans due to reduced credit scores. 

Your identity theft lawyer in Newark can go over the ways your life has been affected and help you address these issues so you can rebuild your financial future.

How Identity Theft Affects Newark Victims 

Unfortunately, once your identity has been stolen in Newark, it will affect you for the rest of your life. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will not issue you a new Social Security number simply because your identity has been stolen. Your Social Security number will remain with you for the rest of your life unless you meet the criteria needed to be issued a new one. 

This can be devastating, as every instance of identity theft may later show up on your credit report. If you attempt to obtain a mortgage, open a new credit card, or otherwise need to have your credit run, any accounts in your name, your credit score, and other information, whether true or false, will show up on your credit report. 

The Long-Term Effects of Identity Theft

Identity theft can have an adverse impact on your ability to build financial partnerships that last a lifetime. You could be passed over for opportunities and denied chances that could improve your financial situation going forward. 

Be prepared to monitor your credit report and score indefinitely, as you will need to handle any additional instances of accounts being opened or other adverse actions showing on your credit report. Your Newark identity theft attorney will be by your side every step of the way to help you address these issues and hold the liable party accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

How Can Offenders Be Penalized for Identity Theft in Newark?

Someone who is convicted of identity theft in Newark could face serious criminal penalties. Generally, identity theft in New Jersey is considered a second-degree crime if the value of the property or services in question is $75,000 or less. This is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines not to exceed $15,000.

How to Recover From Having Your Identity Stolen

Discovering that your identity has been stolen can be a shock. You may be feeling worried and confused about what your next steps should be. Before you do anything, reach out to an identity theft lawyer in Newark for help. 

A qualified identity theft lawyer can help you with all aspects of recovering from identity theft, including:

  • Ensuring you are not held responsible for charges you did not make
  • Ensuring you are not held responsible for accounts you did not open
  • Ensuring accounts that are not yours are removed from your credit report
  • Obtaining compensation from all parties who enabled identity theft, which may include credit bureaus, banks, and the perpetrator
  • Freezing your credit reports and accounts to stop the theft from recurring

An identity theft lawyer can also help you reach out to the credit reporting bureaus to obtain copies of your credit report, contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and assist you in filing an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the police.

Your identity theft attorney in Newark will be by your side every step of the way to protect your family and ensure that your credit report is carefully monitored for instances of fraud and theft going forward. We will also be prepared to hold credit reporting bureaus accountable when they fail to address inconsistencies that later have a devastating impact on your life.

Mistaken Cases of Identity Theft

If you believe your identity was stolen because of errors on a credit report or background check, it may not be the case that your identity was really stolen after all. When we investigate identity theft cases, we often discover that these errors were made because of negligent methods by a credit reporting agency or background check company.

Consumers are protected under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and reporting errors is in violation of the FCRA. You want your identity back and your credit score and personal information to be fixed. But you may not know that you can also pursue financial compensation for the losses you’ve endured because of their negligence.

Damages you may be eligible for under the FCRA include:

  • Statutory damages: These are standard damages that can range from $100 and $1,000 and do not require proof of negligence.
  • Actual damages: By proving negligence, you can collect economic and non-economic damages related to your losses. These damages have no limit.
  • Punitive damages: By proving gross negligence or malicious intent, you can collect these damages that are meant to punish the violator and prevent similar mistakes from happening again. These damages also have no limit.
  • Attorney fees: Fee-shifting under the statute means the defense will cover our fees and litigation costs when we win your case.

Let Berger Montague Protect Your Rights

With our elite academic pedigrees, financial resources, state-of-the-art technology, and unmatched knowledge of technology, data breaches, and privacy, we have established ourselves as the best FCRA firm in the country, hands down.

Whether your case is legitimate identity theft or an error made to your credit report or background check, we know how to hold the right party liable and pursue the compensation you deserve. Since 1970, we’ve recovered over $36 billion in verdicts and settlements, and we routinely win upwards of $100,000 for our clients.

The top-tier attorneys at Berger Montague have also been involved in numerous complex litigation that resulted in credit reporting agencies and background check companies changing the way they access, collect, and report information. We can help you get your identity back.

Contact an Identity Theft Lawyer in Newark for Help Today

Learning your identity has been stolen can be overwhelming. When you have the support of an experienced Newark Identity theft lawyer at Berger Montague backing you up, you can rest easier. With our firm by your side, you can carefully monitor your credit report and be prepared for the anticipated consequences of identity theft. 

Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. It costs you nothing to hire us, and we are not paid at all unless we win your case. Upon a settlement or a victorious trial, we only take a percentage of your earnings.

We can help protect you and your financial future for years to come. Fill out our quick contact form or call our office to schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation today.

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