What to Do When Your Birth Certificate Is Used to Steal Your Identity
Identity theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. It affects millions of people every year, destroying their personal, financial, and social lives. Unfortunately, recovering from identity theft is extremely difficult, especially when someone uses your birth certificate to steal your identity. If you are the victim of , you need to know what to do and who to turn to for help.
What Is Identity Theft?
Simply put, identity theft is a crime in which a person steals your personal information and uses it to commit fraud. For example, a perpetrator of identity theft could easily apply for a credit card, file for unemployment, open bank accounts, or obtain stimulus checks, all in your name. Because your personal information is attached to these transactions and documents, you will be held accountable for anything done with them. In extreme cases, you can be prosecuted for criminal activity or sued for any unsettled debt.
There are different ways of committing identity theft, and using your birth certificate is one of the most damaging. A birth certificate is also known as a 'breeder document,' meaning it is necessary to obtain other forms of government documentation or identification. With your birth certificate, a person could:
- Obtain a government ID card, driver's license, or passport
- Gain access to financial information, such as bank accounts or retirement funds
- Use your personal information to access online accounts
- Use your personal information to look up your place of business, school, or home address
- Alter your original information to create counterfeit IDs
Applying for most forms of identification also requires a social security number or other supporting documents in most states. However, your birth certificate lists essential personal information, such as your full name, where you were born, and your parents' names. With those things, a clever identity thief could find ways to impersonate you without the need for supporting documents.
Signs That You May Be a Victim Of Identity Theft
One of the worst parts of birth certificate identity theft is that it can be challenging to tell that it's happened to you until it's too late. If you notice any of the following signs, you may have had your identity stolen:
- You see unauthorized transactions on your financial statements
- Banks or financial institutions contact you about suspicious or fraudulent activity in your accounts
- Your credit reports show suspicious or unfamiliar activity ( inquiries, debt collection, etc.)
- You receive calls or letters from debt collectors regarding debts you don't recognize
- The IRS informs you that you cannot file income taxes because they've already been filed under your name
What Can You Do if Your Birth Certificate Is Used to Steal Your Identity?
If your identity has been stolen, there are steps you can take to report the identity theft, protect yourself from further issues stemming from your stolen identity, or bring legal action. If you notice that your birth certificate has been stolen, lost, or has been tampered with in any way, it's vital to take action as quickly as possible.
Notify Any Financial Institutions of Your Stolen Identity
Even if you haven't noticed any suspicious activity on your accounts, it's still vital to be proactive and contact your credit card issuer and your bank about your stolen identity. They can freeze your accounts and even roll back some fraudulent charges if they're caught in enough time. You should also notify the IRS about any fraudulent income tax claims in your name.
File a Report With the Federal Trade Commission
While they don't have the ability to pursue any criminal charges, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) compiles data on identity theft cases that law enforcement agencies can use to track down and prosecute identity thieves. To file a report:
- Visit https://www.identitytheft.gov, and click on 'Get Started'
- On the next screen, click 'I Want To Report Identity Theft.'
- Select what the identity thief used your information to do and how your information was misused
- Fill in details about when any new accounts were opened, how much money was stolen, whether you contacted any companies regarding your stolen identity, etc.
- Fill out your personal information.
- Inform the FTC whether you know any details about the person who stole your identity
- Answer whether you've alerted your credit company or the police in regards to your stolen identity
- Submit a personal statement which will be attached to your report
- Review all of the information you have given and click 'Finalize.'
After filing your report, you will receive a customized checklist of steps you can take to help repair the damage that has been done.
File a Report With Your Local Police Department
It's vital to contact the police to file a report and have a copy of the report for your records. If a crime is committed using your personal information in a way that could lead back to you, having legal documentation of your identity theft can make resolving the issue much more manageable.
Place a Fraud Alert on Your Credit Report
A fraud alert is a notification that you can place on your credit report. It instructs lenders and credit companies to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing any loans or new lines of credit. Fraud alerts are free, and they do not impact your credit score. Instead, they serve as an extra measure to protect your credit from identity theft.
DoNotPay Can Help You Recover From Identity Theft
Because identity theft is a crime that encompasses multiple aspects of your life, dealing with it can be an overwhelming experience. However, if your birth certificate has been used to steal your identity, you don't have to deal with it alone. DoNotPay can walk you through what you need to do and every step of the way.
How To Deal With Identity Theft Using DoNotPay:
- Search "identity theft" on DoNotPay and select the type of incident you would like to report.
- Tell us more about the incident that occurred, including the location, date, time, financial loss, and any suspect information you may have.
- We'll identify whether you should file an FTC report, contact the IRS, freeze your credit report, contact state agencies, or file a police report. Once we guide you through the best options, we'll automatically submit the reports on your behalf.
And that's it. DoNotPay will make sure your issue gets sent to the right place. We'll upload confirmation documents to your task for you to view, and if the contacts need more information, they will reach out to you personally via email or mail.
Why Use DoNotPay?
Our process is fast and easy. You won't need to spend hours figuring out who to contact, what forms to fill out, and what to do next. Instead, we will file the necessary reports and contact the appropriate agencies. And you can rest assured knowing we'll work hard to make the best case for you.
What Else Can DoNotPay Do?
As the world's first robot lawyer, DoNotPay helps with various situations. Our goal is to level the playing field to make it easier to fight corporations, beat bureaucracy, find hidden money and sue anyone you need to. We can help you deal with identity theft, as well as several other issues such as:
|Compensation for Victims of Crime||Contact Government Representatives|
|Chargebacks and Refunds||Small Claims Court|
These are just a few of the services that we offer. So if someone used your birth certificate to steal your identity, or you have any other legal concerns and don't know where to turn, don't hesitate. Sign up with DoNotPay today.