top of page

Understanding Your Consumer Rights: Identity Theft Law

Navigating the complexities of identity theft can be overwhelming, but knowing your rights is the first step towards protecting yourself and recovering from this invasive crime.

At Armas & Joseph, we are dedicated to protecting your identity and  resolving breaches. 

Identity Theft

What is Identity Theft?

Identity theft occurs when someone steals and uses your personal information — such as your name, Social Security number, or credit card details — without your permission, typically for financial gain. This can result in fraudulent charges, damaged credit, loans and credit cards unlawfully opened in your name, and other serious issues.


What Are Your Rights Under Federal and California Law?

Here are some of the key rights and protections you are entitled to:

  • Stopping Collection Attempts and Right to Sue: The law allows identity theft victims to sue the business trying to collect any funds resulting from identity theft. 

  • Limiting Liability and Right to Sue: The law limits your liability for unauthorized transactions on your debit and/or credit accounts to $50, and if you report the theft promptly, you may not be liable at all. You are also allowed to sue the your bank if it does not reverse unauthorized transactions to your account.

  • Disputing Incorrect Information and Right to Sue: The law allows identity theft victims to correct any inaccurate information on your credit report. Credit reporting agencies and the furnishers of such inaccurate information are required to investigate your claim and correct any erroneous entries. You are allowed to sue these creditor reporting agencies and furnishers if they do not correct these erroneous entries. 

  • Obtaining Documentation: You have the right to request and obtain copies of any records relating to fraudulent transactions or accounts opened using your stolen identity.

  • Free Security Freezes: You have the right to place a security freeze on your credit report for free. This prevents creditors from accessing your report without your consent, making it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.

  • Fraud Alerts: You can place a fraud alert on your credit report, alerting potential creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before opening any new accounts. 

  • Credit Monitoring: In certain cases, particularly if your information was compromised in a data breach, you may be entitled to free credit monitoring services.

  • Filing Police Report: You have the right to file a police report in your local jurisdiction and/or with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). These reports are crucial documents when dealing with creditors and credit bureaus to prove that identity theft has occurred.

  • Identity Theft Registry: You can register with the California Identity Theft Registry. This can help you clear your name in cases of wrongful criminal charges or civil actions resulting from identity theft.


What Steps to Take if You’re a Victim of Identity Theft?

You should protect yourself and immediately take action. 

  1. Report to Authorities: Immediately file a report with local law enforcement and/or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which provides a comprehensive recovery plan through

  2. Notify Credit Bureaus: Contact the 3 major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to place a fraud alert and/or security freeze on your credit reports.

  3. Review Credit Reports: Obtain and review your credit reports for any unauthorized accounts or charges.

  4. Dispute Fraudulent Charges: Contact the fraud departments of each business where an account was opened, or a transaction made without your permission, and file a dispute.

  5. Maintain Records: Keep detailed records of all communications and actions taken to resolve the identity theft.

How We Can Help!

Navigating the aftermath of identity theft can be overwhelming. At Armas & Joseph, we specialize in protecting your rights and guiding you through the recovery process:

  • Legal Consultation and Case Evaluation: We will review your situation, help you understand your rights, and develop a strategic plan to address the identity theft.

  • Filing Disputes and Claims: We will assist you in filing disputes with credit reporting agencies, creditors, the police, and any other entities involved in the identity theft.

  • Litigation and Representation: If necessary, we will represent you in court to seek damages, injunctive relief, and other remedies available under federal and state law, including attorneys’ fees and costs. Most often we take these cases on contingency – meaning we will only get paid if we are successful and by the business violating your right. 

  • Ongoing Support: Our commitment to you extends beyond legal representation. We offer ongoing support and advice to help you restore your identity and prevent future incidents.


Contact Us

If you are a victim of identity theft, don't navigate the legal complexities alone. Contact Armas & Jospeh today for a free and confidential consultation and let us help you reclaim your peace of mind and financial security. 


Additional Resources

There are numerous resources to help you understand and exercise your rights:

  • California Office of Privacy Protection: Provides information and resources on privacy laws and consumer protection.

  • Department of Justice: Offers guidelines and assistance for victims of identity theft.

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Provides a comprehensive recovery plan through


Disclaimer: This website description is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized legal assistance, please consult with an attorney.

bottom of page