NYC Identity Theft Lawyer

NYC Identity Theft Lawyer

What are the legal consequences of identity theft?

It’s a crime that targets millions of Americans a year — and costs individuals and families time and money. Identity theft can take several forms but is a serious crime no matter what.

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is the act of stealing someone’s personal information such as their address, social security number and bank account information — often with the intent of draining funds from their accounts, opening lines of credit or otherwise tampering with an individual’s finances.

Identity theft has also evolved with the internet as tools for forging documents like birth certificates, licenses and legal documents have grown more and more sophisticated.

If someone is able to use pieces of real personal information, and forge any necessary documents, their target could potentially have their life torn apart once their bank accounts are drained, credit score is ruined, and more.

Millions of dead people applying for credit cards

Even after death, someone could still target you for your personal information. Names, social security numbers and other personal information of dead people is used by alleged identity thieves to fill out millions of credit card applications each year.

A study that tracked the use of deceased individuals’ information for theft found that data for nearly 2.5 million dead people is used each year in an attempt to commit theft. About 1.6 million of the credit card applications are flagged in the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. Other times, alleged identity thieves will intentionally seek out information from the SSA’s master file in order to fill out the credit card applications.

Legal consequences

Depending on the circumstances, those who are convicted of identity theft can face fines, restitution to their victims and imprisonment.

A New York man was arrested in 2019 on an 18-count indictment for identity theft and embezzlement charges. He allegedly used the personal information of a 90-year-old Staten Island resident to cash forged money orders at post offices, resulting in the defrauding of a local bank to steal thousands of dollars.

The man assumed his victim’s identity on several occasions, in person. He allegedly forged a New York State driver’s license with the victim’s full name and home address. He also altered money orders after depositing funds into his own account, withdrawing them, and then changing the information on the order to cash them a second time at the post office.

The man was indicted on charges including: identity theft in the first degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument, and grand larceny. As of late 2019, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

If you or a loved one are facing charges stemming from identity theft, call the Law Offices of Julie Rendelman, LLC at 212-951-1232.