West Virginia Attorneys Counsel Identity Theft Victims
Trustworthy legal advice and representation to reclaim your life
Identity theft is a widespread crime with potentially devastating consequences. Someone gets hold of your personally identifying information, pretends to be you and goes on a crime spree. Soon, you’re getting bills for credit card purchases, auto loans and home mortgages and your banking accounts have been drained. But the situation doesn’t have to be so dire. If you get notice of a data breach or you pick up the signs of identity theft on your own, you can take affirmative steps to protect your assets and your good name. You may also be able to sue a party responsible for a data breach that led to identity theft. At The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC, Charleston attorneys Troy Giatras and Matthew Stonestreet are ready to help identity theft victims repair and protect their informational records and to recover for their losses.
How identity theft occurs
In our digital age, your personal identifying information is necessarily shared in order to do business. Identity thieves may use a number of means to compromise that data, such as:
- Hacking business data bases — Hackers breach the security of companies that store consumer data and offer it for sale on the dark web.
- Skimming credit cards — Identity thieves can place credit card reading devices on ATMs, gas pumps and other machines to steal information.
- Insider breaches — Company insiders with access to records may pass information on to identity thieves.
- Phishing emails — You may receive a fraudulent email that looks authentic and respond by entering personally identifying information. Or you may click on a link that installs malware on your computer that allows a hacker to syphon away your information.
- Unsafe websites — If you make a purchase on a scam website, an identity thief can store your credit card information for use later.
Once your information is taken you are vulnerable to:
- Unauthorized purchases — Someone uses your ATM or credit card to make online purchases
- Account takeover — A person goes into your existing accounts and withdraws assets
- New account fraud — A person opens up a credit card account or takes out a loan in your name.
- Medical identity theft — Someone uses your medical records, such as a Medicare ID, to get medical services or drugs.
Hopefully, you will receive notice of a data breach in time to act. However, in many cases, you only suspect identity theft after you’ve seen an unauthorized charge or have received a strange bill. Either way, you need to protect what’s yours by contacting a West Virginia data breach attorney immediately. Our firm can help you individually or as part of a class action lawsuit against a negligent company whose inadequate security allowed a data breach to take place. We can help stop the theft and often can recover fair compensation for your losses.
Defending clients from criminal charges of identity theft
West Virginia identity theft laws prohibit knowingly taking the personal identifying information of another person with intent to falsely represent that other person in order to make any financial transactions in that person’s name. The charge is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, identity theft is a federal crime, such as when the offense was committed by using the Internet, U.S. mail or telephone. If you have been accused of identity theft, our knowledgeable attorneys will thoroughly evaluate your exposure to criminal penalties and will apply the strongest possible defenses.
Contact The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC for questions about identity theft
The Giatras Law Firm, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia provides skilled and aggressive representation for victims of identity theft and for persons facing criminal charges. Call us at 888-819-1281 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Our Charleston office is conveniently located at 118 Capitol Street, two blocks from the riverfront.