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What Is ID Theft?
ID theft, or identity theft, refers to cases wherein a person’s confidential information is stolen and used to make purchases or other legal transactions without their permission. Information that is usually targeted in an identity theft case typically involves:
- The person’s name and date of birth
- Driver’s license information
- Social Security Numbers
- Bank account information
- Contact information (address, phone number, email, etc.)
- Fingerprints and other types of data
Once the culprit gets a hold of such information, they may sometimes assume the person’s identity by creating fake accounts or identification cards with the victim’s information. From there, thefts and other similar crimes can occur.
Alternatively, ID theft can refer to the theft of one’s actual, physical identification card, such as a driver’s license or a social security card. However, such thefts are usually steps towards a more encompassing theft of one’s overall identity.
What Are the Penalties for ID Theft?
ID theft typically results in a civil lawsuit filed by the victim of the theft in order to recover losses caused by the identity theft. Suing for identity theft can result in a damages award to cover losses such as:
- Business losses
- Damage done to credit scores
- Lost wages
- Lost property or bank account assets
Also, the person being found guilty of identity theft may face criminal charges for their actions. This is often the case if their actions have involved falsifying federal documents or defrauding a police officer or other law enforcement officers. Criminal charges can lead to jail or prison time, criminal fines, and other criminal consequences.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Identity Theft Claims?
Identity theft can often be targeted at certain persons, such as elders, minors, or persons with many valuable assets. You may wish to hire a lawyer if you need help with identity theft crimes that have affected you. Your attorney can provide you with legal representation and can also assist you if you need to be involved in a criminal trial.
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Last Modified: 01-28-2014 03:55 PM PST
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