The Problem Of Identity Theft
Identity theft has become a major problem across the country. Over the years, banks and credit card companies have made it easier to recover lost funds, but there is still a lot of short-term financial pain and potentially long-term damage to your credit score. It seems that as technology has evolved to make buying things easier, it has also made identity theft easier. This makes identity theft a popular crime among drug addicts and other people looking for quick cash.
Identity Theft In North Carolina
The legal definition of identity theft involves acquiring, possessing or using another person’s identifying information with the intent of making purchases or financial transactions in the victim’s name. An actual purchase or transaction does not have to occur if the state can prove intent and possession of stolen identities.
North Carolina has made identity theft a felony hoping that the severity of the penalty would act as a deterrent. An identity theft conviction carries fines up to $50,000, prison sentences up to six years or more and a long probation. If you’ve been charged with identity theft, you need an experienced and aggressive attorney who can fight to minimize the penalties and possibly get the charges dropped.
Common Forms Of Identity Theft
Identity theft crimes encompass a large number of different activities. Some of the more common crimes linked to identity theft include:
- Using someone else’s debit or credit card without their permission
- An undocumented worker using someone else’s Social Security number to gain employment
- Stealing login credentials to make fraudulent purchases at online stores
- Using software, a device or other technology to clone debit or credit cards
In addition to felony charges, people accused of identity theft are often charged with a civil lawsuit by the victim of the identity theft as well. This can incur fines in addition to the penalties for a felony conviction.