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.

Filed Under: identity fraud, identity theft


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  • identicon
    nedu, 5 Nov 2007 @ 4:41am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Haywood, 5 Nov 2007 @ 4:42am

    Blood from a stone

    I doubt little will be gained from these law suits. The low life sort that does this is usually broke & work shy. In a civil action, paying is a judgment is optional, not paying is contempt of court perhaps, but not a criminal offense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      D Money, 5 Nov 2007 @ 9:38am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 5 Nov 2007 @ 4:49am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2007 @ 5:07am

    I wish people would Just quit scamming and stealing people's ID all together. That's too much to much to hope for, isn't it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawyer, 5 Nov 2007 @ 5:13am

    Class Actions

    Too bad criminals don't normally have enough money to make it worthwhile for class action lawyers to get involved.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Grammar Natzi, 5 Nov 2007 @ 5:29am

    "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 TOO often don't seem particularly willing to help in the aftermath of identity fraud."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), 5 Nov 2007 @ 5:33am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      slimcat (profile), 5 Nov 2007 @ 8:46am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Roo, 5 Nov 2007 @ 6:13am

    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.

    Roo

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James, 5 Nov 2007 @ 7:01am

    Actually...

    This is a good thing, since the criminal may have amassed some wealthy/money from scamming more than just one person.. it'd be nice to see a few of these turds held accountable.

    Although, I'd be all for public stonings/lynchings of the a-holes who do this... along with those who send spam, of course.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Overcast, 5 Nov 2007 @ 7:01am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ken, 5 Nov 2007 @ 7:51am

    Great Idea

    This is a great idea. Once a scammer is able to scam a few victims, they can use the proceeds attained from others to pay the first one that sues: and so on. The idea is to perpetuate the crime with the added twist of the shell game con. I guess it is not a new idea after all. Wasn’t that called Enron?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Me, 5 Nov 2007 @ 8:22am

    The law should provide for a means of suing the credit reporting agencies for failing to cooperate or make expeiditious changes. They have deep pockets and they have the power to make corrections in a matter of minutes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 5 Nov 2007 @ 9:16am

    The law should be that the credit agencies, you know, the ones that allowed someone to get credit in your name, should pay for the cleanup, and hire the people to do the cleanup as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2007 @ 10:02am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Steve, 5 Nov 2007 @ 12:53pm

    Credit

    Little may be gained from suing these dirtbags but I sued the VERY unsympathetic Equifax credit agency last year for a LARGE sum of money over the fucking around they did in trying to get things fixed after an identity theft.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • 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?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Wizard Prang, 6 Nov 2007 @ 7:39am

    Another solution

    Get Identity Theft Insurance.

    Let the Insurance company sue whomever they want.

    They have the time, they have the money. They have the trained attack lawyers.

    Just a thought...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2007 @ 1:15pm

    Just read the fine print on ID theft insurance.....it's normally a joke.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Not the bad guy, 13 Nov 2007 @ 8:56am

    Crap

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    The injured party, 21 Mar 2009 @ 11:40am

    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

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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