How Can Identity Theft Affect My Credit? | CreditShout

How Can Identity Theft Affect My Credit?

By Kevin / October 12, 2010

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Identity theft is becoming one of the fastest-growing crimes in America. Each day, hundreds of people have their identity stolen, either physically through a purse-snatching or other crime or “digitally”—through the Internet or other electronic sources.

When you become a victim of identity theft, the results can be devastating. Once someone has your identity, that person will use it as fast as possible and as often as possible so that he can get the maximum benefit before you notice and report it.

During this brief period of time, credit cards and charge accounts will be opened in your name, and multiple purchases racked up. By the time you do notice it and start the long, tedious reporting process, you may already have thousands of dollars in unapproved charges on your credit.

Until such time as you can successfully convince creditors, credit reporting companies, and others who are questioning you or trying to hold you responsible for the problems caused by the identity theft, you may very well be considered responsible for the charges. Some companies do have a limit on how much you must pay—for example, the first $50 in questionable charges; others may not. Other companies may allow you a “grace period” while you try to get things straightened out, but interest or finance charges may continue to build during this time.

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