In this day and age, companies and institutions have access to your private information as part of the normal course of business. Private data such as your social security numbers, your banking information, or your medical records are being stored by these companies and entities. This information should be protected in a reasonable manner so that it cannot be accessed without your consent. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and private information is being leaked and used by criminals to set up credit card accounts, buy merchandise online or obtain medical insurance, among other things.
As more and more private information is stored and shared online and accessed through the use of computers, there is a greater risk that your private information can be viewed or taken without your consent. Companies are now storing more information online and often times do so without the proper safeguards to ensure that your information is protected. Employees have laptops or flash drives stolen and suddenly, your information is no longer safe.
In addition to the dangers associated with the use of computers, hard copies of data are frequently making their way into the wrong hands. Data retained and stored by companies or institutions that is not disposed of properly can easily be taken and used for criminal purposes. Sensitive information is sometimes thrown in the trash for any passerby to discover instead of being shredded to ensure its destruction.
These types of crimes are on the rise. As many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen every year according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. It is believed that there are as many as 10,000 identity theft rings in the U.S. alone.
Identity theft has serious, long-lasting consequences. Many times there are significant economic consequences to restore or protect your credit. Victims also have to spend a great deal of time and effort restoring their identities. Many spend years being watchful, worrying if the problem was really, fully fixed.
Liddle & Dubin, P.C. has represented tens of thousands of individuals in class actions involving consumer fraud. We recently obtained a victory in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals after the court ruled that our clients, who were victims of identity theft, could pursue their claims for emotional and economic damages against a company for its negligent handling of their private information. See HR Block Opinion.
If you have been a victim of identity theft, or your personal information has been shared as a result of a security breach, please contact Laura Sheets for a free consultation by filling out this form online, or by calling us at (800) 536-0045.