Identity theft in Georgia

The Consumer Trade Commission listed one issue as the most frequently reported complaint: identity theft. Credit card theft can often lead to a loss of identity. Once a Georgian becomes a victim of identity theft, another person can make purchase, open lines of credit and even rent an apartment with another person's financial information.

When a citizen has their identity stolen, it can be difficult to correct their credit history. Notifying your bank is only the first step to rebuilding credit. It may be necessary to contact each individual company that has fraudulently extended credit.

To help consumers rebuild their credit, the Federal Trade Commission has created letters that can be sent to creditors or a credit bureau to explain that there has been an identity theft. Before the letters can be sent, a consumer must file a police report. Luckily, it is not necessary for the consumer to know the name of the person that stole his or her identity.

While a consumer rebuilds their credit history, the investigation into the stolen identity can continue. Theft in all its forms is a serious crime in the state of Georgia. Any item valued over $500 will be charged as a felony. If found guilty, an individual may face jail time or fines.

If charged with a theft crime, it is important to seek experienced legal counsel. The penalties for a felony theft charge are very serious and can adversely affect the future options of the accused.

Source: GeorgiaLegalAid.org, "Protect Yourself from Identity Theft," accessed by Sept. 7, 2015

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