What to know if you are facing accusations of identity theft

Accusations of identity theft can be distressing. Fighting false allegations is easier if you know the savviest way to navigate the legal system and clear your name.

Tackling this concern is less intimidating if you follow a few basic guidelines.

Know the allegations

The odds are high that the individual who believes you are at fault will put you in their crosshairs. According to U.S. News & World Report, 44% of those who suffer identity theft respond to their situation by taking legal action. Exonerating yourself requires finding out precisely what you are being accused of. Request information from the authorities so that you can craft a targeted defense. Research the specific complaint, both online and in the law library.

Gather evidence

A key element of clearing your name is collecting records that prove your innocence. Besides printouts of relevant emails and texts, phone records may be necessary. Keep copies of call histories to prove you never spoke with your accuser.

Consult the experts

Seek advice from credit counselors and fraud prevention professionals. Because they study this area of the law, the odds are high that they will provide valuable insight into your case.

Avoid publicity

Refrain from discussing the situation with anyone other than people who are actively building your defense. It is especially wise to avoid posting about the matter on social media. Anything you say online is out in the universe forever and can come back to bite you in a court of law, even if you delete it.

Consider mediation

It may make sense to explore the possibility of mediation. Reaching an amicable resolution without going to trial can save time, stress and legal expenses.

Clearing your name of identity theft is more likely if you use a savvy approach. Have faith in the legal system and trust that you will not endure punishment because of unfounded accusations.