Detective Wendy Bynes has investigated numerous cases of identity theft and fraudulent financial activity. She knows, there is nothing more frustrating to these victims than having to clear their financial good names. With that in mind, Detective Bynes offers this information for ID theft victims:
With the ever increasing use of technology, we are seeing an increase in the number of identity thefts. In 2011 there were 11.6 million U.S. adults who were the victims of identity theft. The average victim spent $354 and twelve hours to clear their records and resolve the problem.
Identity thieves will use the victim’s established credit to open new accounts, obtain auto or home loans and sometimes create a criminal record in the victim’s name. (The statistics cited are from the Javelin Strategy & Research “2012 Identity Fraud Report” released in Feb 2012)
Investigating this type of crime is often difficult because banks and other financial institutions will not release the victim’s information without prior written authorization or a court order. As a victim, you will need to provide the investigating law enforcement agency with complete bank/credit account numbers. You will also need to provide copies of the statements showing the dates and times of the unauthorized charges and which company they were made to. The sooner the report is filed and the necessary information is provided...the better. If reported soon enough we can sometimes obtain surveillance video from merchants where the fraudulent charges occur.
Listed below are links to a few resources for protecting yourself from identity theft and what to do once you have become the victim of identity theft: