Identity Theft

Identity Theft

Although it is a relatively ‘new’ crime, identity theft is quite pervasive all over the world. Technological development has played a major role in the ease with which identity theft can be carried out these days. But what exactly is it?

Identify Theft Crime

Identity theft is said to have occurred when someone uses another’s personal information such as your credit card number, social security number, email passwords, bank account numbers or any such information to commit a crime. The crime may be committed against the one whose identity has been stolen, or against another individual using the stolen information.

There are plenty of ways that people can get other people’s personal information, including:

  • Phishing – A person will get an apparently legitimate email asking for financial information which will then be used to take their money.
  • Skimming – Where a small electronic device is used to read information encoded on a credit card’s magnetic strip once it is swiped.
  • Pretexting – works like phishing but using text messages rather than emails.
  • Theft of a wallet or purse.
Identity Theft

Types of Identity Theft

These could result in various types of identity theft including the more popular financial identity theft, insurance identity theft, medical identity theft, driver’s license identity theft, social security identity theft, child identity theft and synthetic identity theft.

NJ legislature outlaws identity theft, also referred to as impersonation, and sets the parameters of identity theft crimes. Circumstances under which impersonation is an offense include:

  • Where the purpose of impersonation was to obtain property, services, information or monetary benefits.
  • Making purchases and/withdrawals using someone’s online account.
  • Obtaining government documents, birth certificate or driver’s license using the stolen identity.
  • Avoid payment of debts using the false identity.

Identity Theft Penalty

The extent and severity of identity theft penalties are dependent upon the degree of the crime committed. In all cases of identity theft jail time is required for all offenders.

Identity Theft Crime

Identity Theft Jail Time

For instance, if the defendant is a first time offender and obtains less that $500 as a result of the identity theft, and only from one victim, this will be regarded as a fourth degree offense. This will attract an 18-month jail term and/or no more than $10,000 in fines.

If this is a repeat offense still involving one victim and less than $500, it is placed in the third degree. However, if this is a first offense involving one victim but an amount falling between $500 and $75,000 then it is a third degree offense as well. The same applies for at least two but less than five victims. All third degree offenses are punishable by 3-5 years in prison and no more than $15,000 in fines.

A second degree offense occurs when the defendant obtains $75,000 or more from a victim or has more than five victims. This could earn you up to 10 years in jail if convicted and/or a fine of $150,000

Once you have been charged with identity theft, you need to call the best defense lawyers to fight for you. And that’s where Zapicchi & Liller come in. We will give you the strongest defense while keeping you in the loop on all decisions made on your behalf. You can call us today and get a consultation with some of our top lawyers.

Types of Identity Theft
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