Credit and ID theft is a widely spread and heatedly discussed issue today and the goals of the fraudsters are well-known. They use your personal and credit card data to open new credit lines or put purchases on your credit card account. The scope of their criminal actions is not limited by these, however. Have you ever had your driver's license faked? Have you ever faced bankruptcy which you didn't really file?
Yes, that's what may happen to you if you get off your guard and mistakenly disclose you personal and credit information.
Bankruptcy fraud is still not as general an occurrence as a fraudulent purchase put on a stolen credit card so far. Consequently, the measures of protecting your consumer`s rights are a bit different from when your credit card is illegally used.
Bankruptcy is a long-time procedure, so you can't but detect someone has filed in your name. What is the first step you can take? Notify in writing the US Trustee of the region or state where the bankruptcy took place.
Provide the proof of your identity and all the required documentation to validate your claim. Only after that the US Trustee is to refer to the law enforcement authorities to initiate investigation. The US Trustee is not the first and the last resort, however. You can also find assistance with the FBI on your city or file a complaint with the US Attorney.
At this point you begin your game against ID and credit card fraud, and you may find it necessary to have professional help. So, there is nothing more appropriate under the circumstances to hire an attorney to back you in the bankruptcy court and convince the judge that the filing was really fraudulent.
Then, there follow the routine procedure of investigation and, if you are clear, the proof of your innocence and arrest of the identity thief. In most cases the enforcement proceedings end up in the favor of the victim but imagine his or her frustration when they suddenly discover criminal violations are still being attached to their name...
You will feel it when your new credit card application is unexpectedly denied or you receive bills for purchases you never made or even get mistakenly arrested in the street!
You need to take action to clear your name:
- File a complaint with a law enforcement agency;
- Have your identity confirmed. Go to the police department where they will take your fingerprints, photo and make copies of identification documents (passport, visa and driver's license);
- Ask the law enforcement agency to use all this data as the proof of your innocence;
- The law enforcement agency will issue the "clearance letter" which you will have to keep by you whenever you go out. It will protect you in case of a wrongful arrest;
- Find a defense attorney to clear your name.
Verifying your identity and proving your innocence is hard and may take you long but it is vital for avoiding bad credit, preserving your financial health and civil rights.