Who May be Held Liable for Identity Theft?

account-hacked-laptop-blueIn our technology-dependent world, identity theft is an ever-present risk for all of us. If you have done any online shopping, used a credit card to buy something, or have information stored in an employer database or server, you could be a victim.

If this happens to you, it is important to contact an experienced lawyer right away to determine your legal options for pursuing compensation for damages. Below, learn more about liability for identity theft, along with the types of damages you may be able to pursue if you file a claim.

The Arnold Law Firm will evaluate your identity theft claim situation at no cost to you. Learn more about how we may be able to assist you.

Common Forms of Identity Theft

There are numerous examples of identity theft that happen quite frequently. Generally, most examples of identity theft fall under one of the following categories:

Unauthorized Account Use

This means someone else used your financial accounts for their financial gain. For example, someone else may use your credit cards or bank accounts.

Identity Cloning

Identity Cloning is an extreme form of using another’s accounts. A thief takes over every aspect of your identity for his or her own financial gain. This allows the thief to commit numerous forms of identity theft, such as creating new accounts or using existing accounts.

Creating New Accounts

Identity thieves often obtain personal information of others to create new bank accounts, credit card accounts, cellphone accounts and other accounts in that person’s name. Victims are often unaware, and this can allow identity thieves to steal significant funds and damage the victim’s credit score and credit report.

Theft of Medical Information

This refers to an identity thief using your information to obtain medical services, such as prescription drugs. One of the dangers of this form of identity theft is that the notes doctors make about the identity thief could be used to recommend treatment for the victim that could have life-threatening consequences.

Criminal Identity Theft

Criminal identity theft is when a criminal uses fraudulent documents to pose as someone else.

Business/Commercial Identity Theft

Commercial identity theft is when someone uses the name of a business to fraudulently obtain credit.

Liability for the Theft of Another’s Identity

While the individual perpetrator of identity theft could be held liable, others may have liability as well. Often, these other liable parties are those that have access to sensitive personal information, such as your Social Security number or bank or credit card information.

Other liable parties may include:

  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Employers
  • Hospitals and other healthcare facilities
  • Creditors
  • Government entities, particularly those that store your Social Security number

These entities could be liable for various forms of compensation, such as:

  • Compensation for financial losses caused by the theft
  • Emotional damages for the emotional stress, anxiety and other emotional issues you have experienced because of the theft
  • Punitive damages may be recoverable in cases of intentional or reckless negligence that allowed identity theft to occur
  • Injunctive relief to release you from any debts you owe that are a result of the theft

The California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) applies to companies that do business in California and collect personal information from California residents. The CCPA went into effect on January 1, 2020 and is considered to be one of the broadest state-level privacy laws in U.S. history. Among the rights the CCPA endows is the consumer’s right to bring an action for statutory damages if a data breach meets certain requirements:

      • The compromised information must be personal information, as defined by California’s data breach notification law
      • The personal information must be non-encrypted and non-redacted
      • The data breach must have been a result of the business’s violation of the duty to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature of the information.

Call Today to Schedule a Free Legal Consultation

Identity theft can be financially devastating for consumers and employees. Even if you can recover some of the funds that were obtained illegally, your credit score may be damaged, and it could take years to repair. It is important to consider possible legal options for recovering compensation and holding the perpetrators accountable.

A consultation with the attorneys at Arnold Law Firm is free and there is no obligation for you to take legal action. There is no risk in contacting us to find out what we may be able to do for you.

Learn more today. Call Arnold Law Firm at (916) 777-7777