To Atlanta residents, it often seems that every day brings an alarming new report about identity theft. The public is getting frightened of the problem and is pressuring the authorities to do something about it. Lawmakers are pushing for tougher laws and police are looking for more powerful investigative tools. And in all this turmoil, people can end up facing serious penalties for engaging in identity theft.
Recently in another state, police asked for the public to help them track down four suspects whom they say used stolen credit card information to purchase items. Police said they were alerted by multiple victims who reported that they noticed fraudulent charges on their credit card accounts and suspected credit card theft. These victims said they still had their credit cards, but police suspect that others had somehow obtained the credit card authorization numbers and used them to make counterfeit cards.
Police released somewhat blurry images of video surveillance that they said shows four suspects at retail stores in Maryland using the fraudulent credit cards. Police asked for the public's help in identifying the people in the footage and gave out phone numbers and a website address for the reporting of anonymous tips.
Any time the public at large is asked to help track down suspects, it dramatically raises the possibility that the wrong people will be arrested. And even when people have violated a law, the public pressure may result in the suspects facing much more serious charges than they deserve.
The public has little sympathy for those accused of credit card fraud or other forms of identity theft, but it's important to remember that all those accused are entitled to a criminal defense. A qualified Atlanta attorney with experience in identity theft cases can help the accused to identify the defense strategy that will work best for them.