Identity Theft

Identity theft in Chicago

Often close to home

People often think of identity theft as a crime by a nameless, faceless person. However, a recent New York Times article reveals that half of all identity theft victims know the perpetrators of the crime. For example, the NYT article uses an example of a former spouse who used the children’s social security number to apply for nine credit cards in their names; she obtained two. This was the beginning of a nightmare not only for the former spouse but also for the parties’ children. Although the former spouse is now in jail, it has caused so much havoc that the children’s credit history (still minors) are ruined and can affect their applications for financial aid for college, buying a house, etc.

What can you do to prevent this kind of crime by a family member, ex-spouse, etc.? First, always insist that any documents filed in court by your attorney have your social security number blacked out. These court files are open to the public and have a wealth of information for would-be thieves. Second, regularly check your credit history through the three major credit reporting agencies. The example above was not detected by the former spouse for five years; by then the damage had been done. Last, keep sensitive information in a secure area of your home, in a locked filing cabinet, or another safe place. It is not just former spouses who commit these crimes; they also can be house guests, plumbers/electricians, or other workers around the house, housekeepers, etc.

Our experienced Attorney help you determine what’s best

For more information, email our Chicago family law attorneys or you can call our Chicago office at 312.360.0250 or our Skokie office at 847.329.0101 to assist you with your identity theft case.

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