Identity theft is a serious crime with long-term consequences for the victim. While there are state laws that deal with identity theft, is it a federal crime? In this blog, learn the various aspects of identity theft and whether or not it is classified as a federal crime. We will also look at the penalties associated with this type of crime and how you can protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Identity Theft and Federal Charges
Identity theft is a federal crime if the identity thief:
Uses your personal information to commit fraud or other crimes in your name.
Steals money from your bank accounts.
Opens new credit card, loan, or utility accounts in your name.
Files for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts they owe.
Gets a job or driver's license using your personal information.
Commits immigration fraud using your stolen identity.
If you suffer from any of these types of identity theft, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can also contact the FTC if you suspect that someone has stolen your identity but you have not yet experienced any financial losses.
Penalties of Identity Theft
Identity theft is a serious crime with severe penalties. If convicted of identity theft, someone could face up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The accused may also have to repay the victim of the crime.
Preventing Identity Theft
You can help prevent identity theft by keeping your personal information safe and secure. Never your Social Security card or any documents that have your Social Security number on them on your person. Keep your personal information in a safe place at home, and do not give it out unless you are sure who you are giving it to and why they need it. Be careful about what personal information you share on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. When you no longer need documents that have your personal information on them, shred them before throwing them away.
Get the Help of a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been accused of identity theft, it is important to get the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help you understand the charges against you and the possible penalties. An attorney can also help you build a strong defense and protect your rights. If you have been accused of identity theft, reach out to the team at Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum for help. We can help fight the charges against you and clear your name.
Learn more about our firm or schedule a case review by calling (404) 471-3177 or by visiting our website.