How Identity Theft Affects Your Finances

This topic hits close to home for reasons we will not get into at the moment. For anyone who has been a victim of identity theft, we empathize and understand what you are experiencing. For those who have not, it’s unnerving. People may open their mail and discover that goods or services have been purchased in their name. Others learn that money has been withdrawn from their account without their knowledge.

Imagine discovering that a loan has been taken out using your personal information. What’s worse is that the person who defrauded you never intended to pay back the money. Now, you are being targeted by collection agencies. Many of which will not likely stop calling when you tell them you were a victim of identity theft. It’s a powerless and frustrating experience that no one deserves to go through. 

The Financial Ramifications of Identity Theft

Credit scores take years to build and seconds to destroy. The financial implications of identity theft can (potentially) last for years. These aren’t the types of cases where you notice that someone put a charge on your credit card that you hadn’t authorized. With these scenarios, your credit card company will investigate the charge and issue you a new card. You caught it early. 

Others aren’t as fortunate. They could have been victims for years without knowing it. A hacker can access a business or organization that has a record of your Social Security Number (SSN). They can then use your number to take out loans or purchase under your name illegally. If they defaulted on a loan while using your SSN, you might discover you have a lien on your property. Sometimes, people may not realize this until they go to sell their home and a title search discovers the lien—which could possibly halt the sale. Due to how powerful an SSN can be, victims of this magnitude may be able to receive a new SSN. However, your previous number still exists and is on record. 

Another typical example is the person who files their taxes and learns that someone else has already done so in their name. In all likelihood, the hacker did this because they wanted the tax return. The IRS uses a specific form (IRS Form 14039) for people in this situation. Not only has someone taken your return, but this issue has to be resolved for you to file your tax return and receive your refund successfully. 

Speak With a Professional & Compassionate Financial Advisor 
Everyone who works at Worth Advisors, LLC embodies the belief that we exist to serve you. Never assume that you cannot benefit from speaking with a financial advisor who will work with you regardless of your challenges—including identity theft. Make the decision to take command of your finances and your future by speaking with a financial advisor who wants to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment.