What is identity theft?
[ahy-den-ti-tee theft] n. The deliberate act of assuming another person's identity to perform a fraudulent act such as falsifying a credit application or framing them for a crime.
Identity theft in its various forms is a crime that directly affects millions of Americans and costs billions of dollars every year according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, identity theft is surpassing drug trafficking as the number one crime in the nation.
Victims of identity theft frequently find that thieves have used their good name to obtain credit cards or other lines of credit that they then use to make purchases, many times valuing many thousands of dollars.
When the bills for these purchases come due, it is the victim of the crime that creditors try to hold accountable and in many cases, their credit reports show the first evidence that a crime has been committed. This is why many experts suggest regularly monitoring your credit reports for unknown accounts or charges in order to more quickly identity if you have been the victim of identity thieves.
Identity theft and credit repair
Recovering from identity theft is rarely an easy task. Victims reported in 2004 that after dealing with creditors, collectors, the credit bureaus, and law enforcement agencies, resolving the problems associated with identity theft took an average of 330 hours of work.
One of the more frustrating aspects of recovering from identity theft is often times the process of disputing the identity theft related items on your credit reports. Lexington Law makes this process easier by helping you dispute these questionable negative items while you focus your attention on taking care of other matters.