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Criminal Identity Theft - Legal Repercussions Faced As The Victim Of Criminal Identity Theft

Some people think identity theft is just about credit and money. I thought the same way before I was properly educated on what is now the fastest growing crime in the country. For 11 years in a row, identity theft has been the number one consumer complaint in the United States. To make matters worse, children are the primary targets because the thieves know most children's identity is not being monitored. Senior citizens are the second most targeted.

Although I am no longer a child, nor am I a senior citizen, I was actually a victim of identity theft myself. Let me say this, it was not easy trying to prove my innocence. Thank goodness I wasn't a victim of what is called "criminal identity theft" or I may have been in jail. Speaking of which, there was a woman (a senior citizen) who was a victim of this crime. She is a grandmother of two and retired vice president of a well-known bank. Prior to having her identity compromised, she had reported to police in her town that her purse was stolen and there was valuable and personal information in that purse. Soon after, the police rang her doorbell and arrested her. She was wanted for committing check fraud all over the county she lived in.

It took weeks for this woman to clear her name, which resulted in several weeks spent in jail. She spent over $50,000 on legal fees for representation. In some cases, many of us may not have that kind of money saved just in case we are falsely arrested, especially in this bad economy. What do we do then? What would she have done had she not had the money? This woman, who is supposed to be enjoying her retirement, still suffers to this day because of her identity being stolen. The police in her town still don't believe her because her name was used the whole time the fraud was being committed. If authorities can't pin it on her, who do they pin it on? Where do they even begin to look?

There was another incident where a woman, who is a mother of three small children, had her identity stolen and she still has no idea how it happened. She was never robbed or victimized, so she thought, yet she was a victim of what is called Medical Identity Theft. "How could this have happened" she wondered. Local authorities and CPS came knocking at her door threatening to take her children away. Turns out, another woman had a drug addicted baby in her name, which led authorities to believe it was her who recently gave birth. Although it was evident that this woman hadn't given birth in years, she still had to fight to prove her innocence. She had to fight to keep her children all because someone decided to use her identity to seek medical treatment. Where does it end?

This is why identity theft protection is important and having access to attorneys is just as important. There are ways to protect yourself and to be well prepared if this happens to you. I actually have coverage for myself and my children. I refuse to let some crook use my four-year-old daughter's social security number or my nine-year-old son's name and social and ruin his credit. By the time he's 18 years old and applying for student loans, credit cards and purchasing his first car, he finds out he's bankrupt? Then, he has to prove that it wasn't him who destroyed his own credit. You would think the fact that he was just a minor would be proof enough. That is false believe it or not. He will need identity theft investigators and specialists and an attorney to handle this situation for him. Where does he turn? How much will this cost? Before it is too late, find out more on how to protect yourself and your family.

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About the Author

Latisha Lebron, Legal Shield
Roselle, NJ 07203

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