Woman victim of identity theft

Avoiding Phishing Attacks to Prevent Identity Theft

Criminals use a variety of tactics to steal people’s personal information. One method of doing so is called phishing. When a phishing attempt is successful, it often results in the release of a person’s personal information, which criminals then utilize to commit identity theft. In this article, we discuss how to avoid phishing attacks to prevent identity theft.  

An Overview of Phishing

A phishing attempt often beings with an email that appears to come from a legitimate company, such as a financial institution. Sometimes, a phishing email may appear to come from a government agency. Often, recipients believe that these emails are from institutions and companies that they have relationships with—and this is the intention of the scammers who send out such emails. After clicking on a link in a phishing email, the recipient is often redirected to a phony website where he or she is tricked into providing his or her personal information. Such emails also sometimes direct recipients to a legitimate website, only to have a pop-up window appear that is used to harvest personal financial information. In either case, recipients may be asked to update their account information or provide personal information, such as Social Security numbers, passwords, and account numbers.

Protecting Yourself from Phishing Attacks

Fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself from phishing attacks, including: 

  • Never give out your personal information in response to an unsolicited online, email, or phone request. As noted above, scammers create webpages and emails that look legitimate. So, if you didn’t initiate the contact with the institution, don’t provide any personal information. 
  • If you believe an email you receive is legitimate, contact the institution by phone. You should be able to locate the institution’s phone number online or on your monthly statement. This way, you are the one initiating contact using information that you have found from a legitimate source. 
  • Never give out your password in response to an unsolicited phone or online request. Legitimate institutions never request this type of information over the phone or online. 
  • Finally, regularly review your account statements to ensure accuracy. When reviewing your account statements, keep a lookout for suspicious activity or charges. If something doesn’t look right, this can be a sign of identity theft. 

Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer 

If you are a victim of identity theft, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. When you come to attorney Seth Lehrman for help, we will provide you with the legal guidance necessary to get your life back on track. In addition, if your personal information was stolen from an entity with which you’ve entrusted your personal information, we will take the steps necessary to hold the responsible company accountable. Please contact lawyer Seth Lehrman today to arrange a free initial consultation with our talented and experienced lawyer.

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Common Causes of Data Breaches That Result in Identity Theft

In today’s technological world, more entities than ever store our personal information. And, unfortunately, all it takes is one data breach for this information to be exposed to criminals. Often, hackers and other nefarious actors steal people’s personal information for the purpose of committing identity theft. In this article, we discuss common causes of data breaches that result in identity theft.  

Insider Misuse

When discussing data breaches, most people picture computer hackers working diligently to access a company’s computer systems. Although this does indeed occur, some threats come from within an organization. Specifically, data breaches are sometimes the result of dishonest employees. Such threats can take a number of different forms, including malicious employees seeking to steal personal information and negligent employees who fail to properly safeguard such information. 

Stolen Passwords

Companies that fail to implement stringent password policies are easy targets for hackers and cybercriminals. Whether the threat comes from outside or within an organization, the failure to safeguard information with strong passwords routinely leads to data breaches, thereby putting people’s personal information at risk.  

Social Engineering

Social engineering occurs when a person tricks an employee into handing over personal information. There are a number of ways that criminals accomplish this, but the most common is through email phishing attacks.

Unpatched Applications

All software—no matter how protected—is exploitable. Software vendors attempt to address this by routinely releasing updated versions of their products containing patches to fix these vulnerabilities. However, users sometimes delay these updates (or ignore them completely), thereby putting people’s personal information at risk. 


Another common cause of data breaches is malware. Malware is a type of software that is installed on a computer without consent. Once installed, this software uses different methods to steal information. For example, some malware programs steal passwords, while others lock down systems and demand that users pay a ransom to unlock them. Malware can be installed on a computer system in a variety of ways, but the most common is through phishing attacks. 

Physical Attacks

Finally, although it is not as common as the methods above, physical attacks can also cause data breaches. Examples of such attacks include insiders accessing physical files and outsiders physically breaking into an office after hours to steal personal information. 

Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer 

If a data breach has resulted in the theft of your identity, you should contact an attorney immediately. When you come to us for help with your issue, our experienced class action lawyer will work hard to help you get your life back on track following the theft of your identity. Further, if your personal information was stolen due to a data breach, we will take steps to hold the responsible organization accountable. Please contact lawyer Seth Lehrman today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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Recovering From Identity Theft

Identity theft can turn your life upside down. Not only can it hurt you financially, but it often creates wide-ranging consequences that can affect you for years to come. Fortunately, however, there are things you can do to lessen the impact of identity theft. In this article, we discuss how to recover from identity theft.  

Assess the Damage

The first thing to do after an identity theft attack is to assess the damages. Specifically, you should check your accounts for charges you don’t recognize and review your credit reports for signs of fraudulent activity. 

Place a Freeze on Your Credit Reports and Enable Fraud Alerts

Once you’ve determined which of your accounts were affected, you should take steps to prevent further damage. There are a few ways to do this. First, you should consider placing a freeze on your credit reports, which will prevent thieves from opening fraudulent accounts under your name. Next, you should place fraud alerts on all your credit reports. A fraud alert lets credit card companies and other creditors know that you may be a victim of identity theft. 

Contact the Entities Involved 

Next, you should contact each of the creditors involved in your situation. In addition to asking them to freeze your affected accounts, you should dispute all fraudulent charges on your valid accounts. 

Begin Repairing Your Credit

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you have the right to dispute any incorrect information on your credit report, including fraudulent accounts that are a result of identity theft. The FCRA requires that credit reporting agencies remove reported fraudulent accounts from your credit reports within four days or less. The removal of these accounts is an important step to take to begin repairing your credit.  

Keep an Eye on Your Credit Reports

Taking the above steps should significantly limit the damage caused by identity theft. However, even after doing so, you should continue to closely monitor your accounts. In other words, although taking the above actions are important, you must remain vigilant to ensure that you fully recover from (and prevent future) identity theft. Therefore, at a minimum, you should review your credit reports at least once a quarter to ensure accuracy. In fact, this is a good practice even for those who aren’t victims of identity theft. 

Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer 

Finally, if you have been affected by identity theft, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. When you come to us for assistance, our experienced attorney will help you take steps to get your life back on track following an identity theft incident. In addition, if your situation is the result of a personal information leak, we will do what is necessary to hold the responsible entity accountable for its negligence. Please contact experienced and knowledgeable consumer class action lawyer Seth Lehrman today to schedule a free initial meeting.

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What is an Identity Theft Affidavit?

Identity theft is an increasing problem in the United States. After an identity theft incident, there are several steps that victims should take to ensure that they obtain the justice they deserve. Often, this process involves a document called an identity theft affidavit. An identity theft affidavit is used by victims of identity theft to prove that their personal information was illegally used to open a fraudulent account. In this article, we discuss identity theft affidavits and their role in the identity theft reporting process. 

Where to Get an Identity Theft Affidavit 

If you believe that your identity has been stolen, you should consider contacting the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to file a complaint. After reporting the suspected theft, the FTC will provide you with an FTC Identity Theft Report, which should include an identity theft affidavit. As noted above, an identity theft affidavit will serve as official proof of the fraud when you dispute marks on your credit or new accounts.

Information Needed to File an Identity Theft Affidavit

To complete an identity theft affidavit, you will have to provide certain personal information, including your contact information, address, Social Security number, and identification card or driver’s license. After providing your information, you will be requested to provide certain details of the identity theft, including: 

  • Whether any new inquiries or accounts were included in your credit report due to the fraud.
  • Details of any accounts that have been affected or any accounts that were fraudulently opened due to the identity theft.
  • Whether any of your personal information that appears in your credit report is incorrect due to the identify theft.
  • Whether you obtained any benefits from the fraud, whether you permitted anyone to use your information, and whether you will cooperate with law enforcement officials if charges are eventually filed against the perpetrator of the fraud. 

Is an Identity Theft Affidavit Needed to Report Fraudulent Use of an Account?

In the majority of cases, an identity theft affidavit isn’t needed to report fraud on any of your existing accounts. Identity theft affidavits are instead usually used to dispute new accounts that were fraudulently opened in your name. However, it is possible that your lender may require you to complete an affidavit before initiating a fraud investigation. Each business or creditor that you work with will have its own fraud procedures and protocols, so you should contact each of them directly to determine what they require.

Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer 

If you are an identity theft victim, you must act fast. Identity theft is often the result of the negligence of organizations that fail to protect people’s personal information. When an organization exposes your personal information, our firm believes that it should be held accountable for its actions, and you should be compensated for any resulting financial losses. Please contact consumer class action lawyer Seth Lehrman today to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

Service member sitting with identity theft attorney

Identity Theft and the U.S. Armed Forces

The members of the U.S. Armed Forces face many obstacles in their chosen line of work. Surprisingly, one such obstacle is identity theft. In fact, active duty service members file identity theft complaints at much higher rates than civilian consumers. In this article, we examine identity theft and the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Military Personnel are at High Risk for Identity Theft

According to the Federal Trade Commission, active duty servicemembers are approximately 76% more likely than others to report the misuse of an existing account by an identity thief. Further, active military personnel are nearly three times as likely as other people to report that an identity thief used a debit card or other electronic means to illegally withdraw funds directly from a bank account. This indicates that members of the military experience theft from their financial accounts at much greater rates than the general population. However, military personnel are also approximately 20% more likely to report that their personal information was misused to open a new account, such as a credit card account. 

Protecting Yourself from Identity Theft

Given the fact that members of the U.S. Armed Forces are more likely than the general population to be victims of financial theft and identity theft, it is important for all members of the military to take steps to protect their personal information. So, if you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, you should take the following steps to protect yourself from identity theft: 

Regularly check your bank account(s): First, you should review your bank account(s) regularly. If you notice any unauthorized transactions, you should report this to your bank immediately. 

Be wary of providing personal information over phone, email, or text: Next, you should be cautious about providing authentication information, including verification codes and PIN numbers, to anyone who contacts you via phone, email, or text—particularly if you didn’t contact them first. 

Put an alert on your credit reports if you’re deploying: If you are deploying, you should consider putting an active-duty alert on your credit reports. Active-duty alerts last a year and require creditors to verify your identity before granting credit under your name. In fact, even if you aren’t deploying, you should consider placing a fraud alert on your credit reports. A fraud alert is a notice that alerts creditors that you are or may be a victim of identity theft or other fraud. 

Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer 

If you have had your identity stolen, you should take action as soon as possible. Identity theft is often caused by the negligence of companies that store your personal information. And when a company releases your personal information without your consent, you should be compensated for your losses. Please contact experienced consumer class action attorney Seth Lehrman today to schedule a free initial consultation.

man calling about identity theft

Recent Case Illustrates the Dangers of Identity Theft

Identity theft is the act of stealing someone’s personal information and using it for illegal purposes, such as withdrawing money, filing tax returns, opening credit accounts, and making insurance claims. In this article, we examine a recent identity theft case and explain how to check for signs of identity theft. 

A Recent Example

The New York Times recently reported on an incident involving identity theft and the purchase of firearms. In 2022, a delivery service delivered two packages containing approximately $5,000 worth of gun parts and gun accessories to a home in Chino Hills, California. The items were purchased under an installment payment plan offered by a company that offers “buy now, pay later” payment options for the purchase of firearms. The deliveries were addressed to a man named Seung Song.

However, according to Mr. Song, he never ordered the items, and he never received a delivery. Rather, Mr. Song claims that he learned of the purchase after receiving notification of a $5,000 debt that had been added to his credit report. Mr. Song claimed that someone opened an account to purchase the items using his personal information. 

A law enforcement official later stated that the police determined that the gun parts had been legally shipped to a home in Chino Hills and considered Mr. Song to be a potential victim of identity theft. 

Unfortunately, Mr. Song’s situation represents a rising trend of identity theft involving the “buy now, pay later” industry. In addition, it illustrates the multiple dangers associated with identity theft. 

Checking for Identity Theft

Everyone should routinely check for signs of identity theft. Ways to check for identity theft include: 

Monitor your credit score: There are credit monitoring services available that allow you to keep track of your credit score. If your score experiences a sudden drop, this may be indicative of identity theft. 

Review your credit reports: In addition to monitoring your credit score, you should routinely review your credit reports. While reviewing your report, you should look for accounts that you don’t recognize. 

Review your statements: You should also regularly review your bank account and credit card statements to ensure that you recognize all transactions. Any unusual transactions may indicate that something is amiss. 

Monitor your email: Finally, if your information has been released or compromised in a data breach, you should receive correspondence informing you of this. In addition, you should be on the lookout for emails notifying you of recent suspicious account activity. 

Contact a Consumer Class Action Lawyer 

If you believe that you are a victim of identity theft, you should take immediate action. Identity theft often occurs when companies release people’s personal information without their permission. When an institution compromises your personal information, you should be compensated for any resulting losses. Please contact experienced attorney Seth Lehrman today to schedule a free consultation.