The Rights of Identity Theft Victims in the Army

By Julius Reyes, Fort Bliss Legal Assistance Office

Identity theft is a pervasive risk that affects individuals across various sectors, including those serving in the United States Army. Recognizing the significance of protecting military personnel, the Army and the State of Texas offer legal rights and protections to aid identity theft victims in their recovery process.

Under the Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act in Texas, identity theft victims are granted specific legal rights. This legislation allows victims to seek a court order that officially declares their status as an identity theft victim. Such an order can be presented to private businesses and government entities to rectify any inaccurate or false information resulting from the identity theft. This provision ensures that victims have legal recourse to correct their records and restore their identities.

It is imperative for an identity theft victim in the United States Army to promptly report the incident to the appropriate military authorities. Failure to report identity theft may result in disciplinary implications under the UCMJ, including charges related to false official statements or failure to report a crime. Military regulations also provide safeguards to protect identity theft victims against retaliation for reporting the incident. Victims have the right to be free from reprisal, threats, or harassment because of reporting the identity theft. Those who engage in retaliatory actions may face disciplinary measures under the UCMJ. These protections ensure that victims can exercise their rights without fear of adverse consequences within the military context.

Identity theft victims in the military have the right to seek assistance from their installation’s Legal Assistance Office. This resource is available to guide victims through the necessary steps, provide legal advice, and offer support throughout the recovery process. Seeking legal assistance early on can help victims understand their rights, navigate the complexities of identity theft cases, and take appropriate action to mitigate the damages caused by the theft.

Identity theft victims in the United States Army can also benefit from various consumer protection laws and resources available at the federal and state levels. The Federal Trade Commission offers guidance and assistance to victims through its website. This resource provides comprehensive information on reporting identity theft, creating a recovery plan, and navigating the aftermath of the crime. In addition, Texas residents can access resources from the Texas Attorney General's office, which provides specific information on reporting identity theft, guidance on recovering from the crime, and additional state-specific resources.

As identity theft remains a prevalent threat, understanding the legal rights available to identity theft victims in the United States Army is vital for effective response and recovery. Through Texas state law, military regulations, and relevant UCMJ articles, victims are empowered to seek legal remedies, report incidents, and receive necessary support. It is essential for identity theft victims in the military to promptly report the crime, seek legal assistance, and utilize available consumer protection resources to protect their rights and regain control of their identities.

If you have any further questions on identity theft, please schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney at Fort Bliss Legal Assistance Office by either calling (915) 568-7141 during office hours or emailing anytime.