Identity theft is a risk for people in Tennessee, especially for those who own credit cards and regularly travel in crowded areas. One of the easiest ways for an identity thief to obtain a victim’s credit card information is by using a card-skimming device that steals information from the card remotely. These devices are widespread, cheap and easy to use.

A victim of identity theft may realize that their credit card information has been stolen when they spot unusual charges on their credit card statement or notice a low score on their credit report. Some identity theft victims will even receive threatening phone calls and letters from creditors demanding payment.

Faced with the threat of lawsuits and wage garnishments, a victim may be tempted to file for bankruptcy in order to remove the illegitimate debts from their credit report. Though filing for bankruptcy is a very common move for victims of identity theft, it may not be the wisest first step. By disputing each fraudulent credit card charge individually, the victim may be able to clear the debt and salvage their credit score at the same time. On the other hand, filing for bankruptcy may discharge all debts while negatively impacting that person’s credit score for as long as 10 years.

An identity theft victim may want to speak to an attorney about the best way to deal with fraudulent credit card charges and credit card debt problems. After disputing all of the suspicious charges on a person’s credit report, an attorney may help the person to determine where to go from there. In some cases, a person may still require the bankruptcy process to eliminate all debts after cleaning up their credit report.