Identity Fraud Victims May Soon Be Able To Sue For Time Spent Getting Their Identity Back

from the recognizing-the-pain dept

One of the biggest problems with scammers taking your ID is that the victims are the ones who have to spend all the time and money cleaning up their credit record and dealing with the fallout of the fraud with little recourse. A new bill that’s going through the Senate aims to at least allow identity fraud victims to sue the scammers for the time and effort it takes to repair their lives. Of course, that depends on them figuring out who the scammer was, which isn’t always easy. This certainly seems reasonable given the burden placed on the victims of such scams, but it won’t lessen the pain in dealing with credit agencies who all to often don’t seem particularly willing to help in the aftermath of identity fraud.

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Comments on “Identity Fraud Victims May Soon Be Able To Sue For Time Spent Getting Their Identity Back”

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nedu says:

First rule of lawsuits

Funny, the first rule of lawsuits is, “Sue the people with the money!”

Here, these senators want the “identity thieves” to make their victims whole. Well, if wishes were horses and so on…

But this bill doesn’t provide incentives for banks to improve security. It doesn’t provided incentives for credit reporting agencies to get their facts straight. And so on…

In short, it perpetuates a system where powerful institutions can go around spreading damaging lies about people—and then point to some scummy scammer and say, “It’s all his fault!” But, it just isn’t all the fault of those ‘cybercriminals’. Part of the responsibility needs to rest with those companies who are in a position to implement better security—but instead externalize their costs onto ordinary people who can’t really do anything about it.

Good one, senators! Tell us another joke, please.

D Money says:

Re: Blood from a stone

Actually how you can collect a judgement depends on the state you’re in. For example, in New Jersey once you have a judgement against someone you can execute on their assets which means seizing their bank account, seizing their car and household goods for a sheriff’s sale and execute on their wages. It’s not simply a contempt of court charge if you fail to pay.

Anon (user link) says:

Adding to it?

So, to add to the hell that is putting back together your life, you can now have the increased pressure and stress of sueing the person who put this upon you, only to find they can’t pay you a penny.

This is a good idea, and will help a few people. The main problem for the majortiy is that either they won’t get a penny from them or the person won’t be caught for them to exercise this right.

Killer_Tofu (profile) says:

Major Breech

In the case of a company *cough cough TJX cough cough* losing tons of customer’s sensitive data, if the fraud is a result of that, the people should be allowed to sue the company that lost the data. The burden of proof should have to be really low too, since the companies have already admitted that they lost the data. That way those with little, who have all of this stress put on them by somebody else’s incompetence will have a method of recourse without having it drawn out by the large corporations.

slimcat (profile) says:

Re: Major Breech

Or, as in my case, allowed to bring some sort of charges against a debt collector who decided I was a person in a town about 150 miles from where I live and, somehow, managed to add all her bad debt to my credit report. I emphasize “her” because I was able to learn who she was, that we have a similar name but with a different spelling and that I’m old enough to be her grandfather. She did not steal my identity but simply failed to pay her bills.

It took a lot of time, effort and money to clear this from my credit history. The big three credit agencies were no help at all and, in fact, seemed bent on making the situation as difficult for me as possible.

Roo says:

Why not hold the credit reports liable?

I think a more useful remedy would be to make it easier for people to repair the damage.

Credit reporting companies charge you to see YOUR information so I propose that they should be liable if that information is wrong. My guess is that they would be more careful, and work harder to fix mistakes. As it is, they can spread false information about you with impunity; even after they reasonably know it to be false.

Get legislation that fixes that, so repairing the damage of identity theft won’t require thousands of hours.


Overcast says:

It would work – IF – in addition to suing the person who committed the crime, if you are also able to sue any party that had a hand in releasing the information.

If a company gets their database hacked and looses your info – you get ripped off because of that – you should be able to sue them too. Perhaps corporations and agencies would take better care of the information or simply decide they don’t want the risk and keep information out of their database.

Anonymous Coward says:

In civil suits, it isn’t just about filing suit against the person that wronged you. There’s “Proximate Cause” which is like a domino effect of events that led to the criminal act. That brings in other parties.

Say your wallet was stolen. It has your ID, credit cards, maybe even your Social Security card (some people do carry it). You could sue the thief that used your credit info and stole your identity. But as a course of Proximate Cause, you could try to sue the Bank that opened the new account, the credit card company that issued the new card, and so on. Get as many entities involved that had your identity stolen.

Max Powers at (user link) says:

What a wast of the Senates time.

First they need to draft a bill that would give consumers the power to force businesses to give up any information they have regarding the stolen or unauthorized transactions.

This was my problem with Google. I wanted to follow up on trying to find out who used my credit card to charge fee’s associated with Google advertising, but they won’t tell me a thing.

So how would this law help me?

Not the bad guy says:


I am being sued by a major bank for a credit card I do not have and never applied for. I am spending a ton of cash for an attorney to defend me for a balance I do not owe, a credit card I have never seen, and an account I never opened. Yet even though the Bank has yet to show a signed application, an accounting of purchases, and application or anything else with my signature or even my name on it, the lawsuit goes forward, costing me time and money. It isn’t even on my credit bureau. Clearly this is a fraud, id theft or a huge mistake on the bank’s technical side…..but I am the one that has to prove it. How do you prove you don’t have something? And the kicker is that Visa and all kinds of tv and internet sites say I need to contact the Bank. Duh folks……..they are suing me. They don’t care. And I cannot find out anywhere, if the number belongs to someone, or if it is not real, or anything else about it. So screw you political jerks. You don’t want to help people, the ones that voted you in…….you would rather get the payoffs from the financial institutions and lobbyists.

The injured party says:

knowingly allowing an unauthorized party activate card

A major bank/creditcard let a unautorized person activate my credit card from my phone.The person was not the right gender and didn`t even use the autimated System. The even put a pin number and password on the account. They talked to a live worker. I was never notified untill there was spending on the account. Then it was too late. They had racked up a couple thousand in exspenses. before it was stopped. They held me responcible and wouldn`t let it go. I have now been sued by a collection agency/law firm. I wasnt the sueing kind when it happened,Now Im begining to grow a backbone. Oh yeah I never applied for the card either. The just simply sent me one. I never had it activated

injection molded parts (user link) says:

A few baby waves building up to a Class ‘3’s and some solid group paddle practice under our plastic cap manufacturer belts, we were ready for the Big One – we hoped! We could hear the roar of the waterfall in the distance as the raft glided closer to the edge. But before anyone started panicking, our guide stopped the boat a safe distance away for a pep talk. “Now, there’s a camera rigged to the trees to take your picture, so make sure scaffolding you smile on your way down,” she prompted. Although grinning for a group photo was the last thing on our minds, it lightened the mood and loosened everyone up for the dramatic descent. Also, the group before us had made the fall without capsizing, so now the competition was brewing. Make it over in one piece or risk being added to the River Rats Hall of Shame! Not these Lost Girls! Ready, set, paddle. We propelled our raft forward as fast as we could and as soon as our guide yelled, “Drop”, we hit the bottom of the boat and braced ourselves for the 7 meter plummet. As we sailed off the edge, white water roaring below, it felt like more like we were flying in a weird rubber plane and that we’d keep going forever. That is, until we crashed back into the rapids. But wait, we were still right side up. We’d made it down alive and even had time to flash a quick grin to the camera before it went off. Are we rock stars or what?

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