Thieves who go after your identity often succeed in making fast cash, often at your expense, but also sometimes at the lender’s expense. Credit has historically been easy to come by in this country, thanks to the many companies competing in the lending industry. They encourage laws to be lax, and private citizens also often prefer access to money when they need it. All that is needed to access credit is your name, address, phone number, and social security number, and sometimes only a few of these.
Some creditors absorb the loss, apologizing for their mistake. Others insist the borrower was you, both to avoid paying the money and because some people only pretend to be victims. As easy as it is to obtain credit, it can be difficult to prove someone stole your identity, especially if the thief withdrew cash. To this end, the most important thing you can do is limit your own access to credit, and work with banks or institutions that have security guarantees.
There are a number of services that protect your identity. This includes credit monitoring services such as Experian and Equifax. Other services are more comprehensive, and behave as an identity theft lock. Lifelock and Creditlock are examples, offering complete monitoring, credit restrictions, and even an insurance policy. These services are valuable tools, but if you are a victim, it is also possible to contact the police or even your bank, who should know to freeze your credit and take steps to investigate the fraud.
Identity thieves often escape frolicking with your money, but sometimes they can be caught. The important part is freezing your account as fast as possible to prevent further losses. If the thief is still spending, and they use your info at a store, they might give themselves away.
There are plenty of attorneys who know how to work fraud cases, and it is possible to find one even in your town. Bear in mind that they have no easier time finding evidence than the police, but they may know enough about the waters to navigate your sinking financial ship to dry ground. Remember always that prevention is the only real remedy, and credit institutions have limited interest in investigating fraud.