Identity Theft in Kansas

The repercussions of identity theft can range from embarrassment to serious legal and financial injury. Assess your risk, safeguard your identity, and hire an attorney in Kansas if your identity gets stolen.

According to reporting by WIBW, Kansas ranks number two in the country for identity theft reports. In 2021, 1,355 per 100,000 residents communicated their suspicions to authorities. A spokesperson from IPX points out that tax season is a particularly dangerous time for this illicit activity.

What Is Identity Theft?

Identity theft is one of the most common crimes in the modern world. Criminals are constantly finding new ways to steal your information. These crimes involve the fraudulent use of components of your identity, such as SSNs, driver’s licenses, or credit cards.

Even before you become aware of any theft, thieves may have already used your identity to open new financial accounts without your knowledge. Other criminal actions include faking tax returns, fraudulent purchases, and receiving or stealing medical care under your insurance. While dealing with customer service departments for a solution, a qualified Kansas attorney can fast-track the process. In some circumstances, taking the step of seeking legal help is necessary to get the attention of companies and recover your losses.

How Does Identity Theft Happen in Kansas?

Identity theft can happen in many ways. Hackers are constantly advancing their data-stealing techniques. However, there are some long-standing causes of identity theft that every consumer should be aware of:

  • Data BreachesCompanies often store personal financial information for subscriptions, auto-pay, or express checkout. Hackers can break into these companies’ servers and extract the personal information of thousands of people at a time.
  • ATM or Card Skimmers – Hackers can place devices called skimmers that read your card’s information when you use it. The most common places for skimmers to are in ATM devices or at gas pumps. Some have even found their way into convenience stores and pharmacies.
  • Digital Malware and Viruses – Hackers can access your information through phishing, fake websites, and file-sharing networks. You should always be vigilant when receiving emails from questionable accounts or when browsing online. Often, hackers will disguise their phishing attempts as recognizable brands or platforms.
  • Physical Theft – Thieves can access your personal information by stealing your mail, purse, or wallet.
  • Change Of Address – Another creative way hackers can steal your information is by changing your address with different services you use. Once the mail reroutes to the new address, they can access the information that would normally be sent to your real address.
  • Public WiFi – While public WiFi networks are convenient, they rarely encrypt the connection. Most competent hackers can break into public networks and remotely access devices connected to them. Only use public WiFi networks if absolutely necessary, and always with a VPN.

What Are Some Identity Theft Laws?

Legislators take identity theft seriously, and there are stiff penalties for perpetrators. Under Kansas Statutes, this activity can result in prison time, fines, and restitution to victims. Cases that involve less than $100,000 in losses are a severity level eight felony. Damages that exceed that threshold can become a severity level five criminal offense.

How Can I Detect Identity Theft?

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your identity has become compromised. However, if you are vigilant with your passwords and online presence, you can become aware of several signs that point to identity theft. Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Any questionable activity you don’t recognize regarding your existing accounts
  • Deposits, purchases, credit alerts, etc.
  • No longer receiving mail at your primary address
  • Calls or letters from debt collectors about debts you never personally incurred
  • Unfamiliar charges on your accounts or new accounts you never opened
  • Bills for services you never received, such as medical care
  • Letter from the IRS regarding duplicate tax returns in your name
  • News from a company you have done business about a data breach
  • A sudden and unexplained drop or increase in your credit score

How Do I Recover From Identity Fraud in Kansas?

The first thing you can do is immediately contact your financial institutions and suspend any compromised cards. Some companies also allow you to block any further usage directly from their app.

The next step would be to contact the institutions where you have discrepancies. If you see suspicious transactions, reach out to the places or services where they occurred. Additionally, close any accounts or cancel any subscriptions that may have become compromised.

Victims can submit complaints of identity theft directly to the Kansas Attorney General. Upon review, the government office may assign an investigator. Generally, you should hear from state officials within two weeks of sending your report. The investigation that follows may take months, and it will likely require your participation.

You should also consider a credit monitoring account if you don’t already have one. These services provide oversight on your credit accounts and alert you when there is suspicious activity. You can either temporarily freeze the account or close it out entirely. An experienced Kansas attorney can also help you right some of the wrongs you encounter along the way.

Identity Theft Protections

Always take proactive steps to protect yourself from identity theft. To many, some of these steps may seem like common sense. However, it’s surprising how often people disclose personal information without a second thought. We recommend you take the following precautions to avoid someone stealing your identity:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited requests asking for personal information.
  • Do not click any suspicious links in unsolicited emails.
  • Enable all security and two-step verification protocols on your electronic devices.
  • Use complex passwords and change them frequently.
  • Install any firewall and malware detection software on your electronic devices.
  • Properly shred or tear up any documents with personal or financial information before discarding them in the trash.

Work with an Experienced Local Lawyer in Kansas

Are you facing financial or legal complications related to an identity theft issue in Kansas? If that’s the case, we can help connect you with the right attorney to help you resolve these problems, before they spiral out of control. We can even help you connect with an attorney across Kansas state lines.

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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