In this day and age, the safety of your personal information is at constant risk. In fact, identity thieves may be right under your nose without your knowledge. According to the Identity Theft Assistance Center (ITAC), for every five cases of identity theft, at least two victims knew the thief personally. The effects of the crime can be considerably damaging if the fraudster happens to be someone you know and trust such as an immediate family member or relative.
I recently read an example of this in an article that really surprised me. A 73 year old man fell victim to identity theft and thought he would never see the day he would have to mow lawns to cover bills he did not incur. The victim’s own son stole his identity and left his dad’s finances in shambles by taking out credit cards under his name and racked up thousands of dollars in bills. As a result, the victim and his wife had to file charges against their grown son.
If you find yourself in this unthinkable situation, here are a few options you may want to think about and follow:
– You can proceed as if this were a regular case of identity theft and file a police report
– Contact your creditors to see if a resolution can be made without police involvement
– Enroll in a program which will monitor your credit reports and provide fraud resolution assistance
Another option to think about if you don’t want to press charges is to pay the debt and live with the consequences. The lesson here is that identity thieves can come from all walks of life and no one is really safe from it. What you can do is be vigilant and protect yourself from becoming a victim.