Bucks County Identity Theft Attorney

The U.S. Bureau of Justice reported that over 17 million consumers were victims of identity theft in 2014. The total annual losses associated with this crime were estimated at $15 billion. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia largely attributes the problem to breaches of highly sensitive personal data including names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers. This problem has resulted in a new emerging industry of “Identity Theft Protection Services” that is growing significantly.

Largest Types of Identity Theft

Work or Tax Fraud[1]

Credit Card Fraud

New Accounts

Phone/Utility Fraud

Bank Fraud

Loans/Leases

Government Benefits

16.8%

12.7%

12.7%

7.4%

6.4%

4.2%

3.2%

Impact of Smartphones

The Identity Theft Resource Center explains that smartphones place individuals at risk of identity theft. These devices are commonly lost or stolen and are linked to a user for “billing and account purposes.” They may be constantly moving in and out of Wi-Fi networks that may lack adequate security. Sensitive information is often accessible through the apps used.

Identity Theft in Pennsylvania (§4120)

Identify theft involves possessing or using information that identifies someone for unlawful action without their consent. Identifying information may be in the form of a document, image, photo, etc. Commonly involved documents include a birth certificate, driver's license, Social Security card, access card, employee or student identification card, and more. Often sensitive data such as bank account numbers, Social Security numbers, and student identification numbers are accessed electronically.

Grading of Identity Theft Offenses

  • When the value involved in the offense is under $2,000, it is a first-degree misdemeanor
  • When the value involved in the offense is at least $2,000, it is a third-degree felony
  • If the offense is part of a criminal conspiracy, it is a third-degree felony regardless of the value involved
  • Any third offense is enhanced to a second-degree felony
  • Any offense is enhanced by one grade when the victim is under the age of 18 or over the age of 60

Restitution for Identity Theft (§1107.1)

The courts may order that restitution be made to victims of identity theft or access device fraud. The amount is based on what the court deems to be reasonable and may be in addition to other monetary penalties imposed. It may be ordered to investigate the theft, or for bringing or defending criminal or civil actions that have arisen from the theft. Often these funds are used to reverse damage to the victim's credit report. Funds are used for court costs or paid to accountants, attorneys, or credit bureaus.

Tax-Related Identity Theft

The IRS describes tax-related identity theft as the unlawful use of a Social Security number to file taxes and obtain a refund. Victims typically become aware of the crime when they attempt to file their taxes and the IRS reported they were already filed.

Attorney Defends Allegations of Theft in Bucks County

If you have been arrested and charged with identity theft, it is imperative to retain experienced legal representation. Those convicted of these crimes may be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years of incarceration and up to a $25,000 fine. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has been defending criminal cases for many years in Pennsylvania courts. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.

[1] https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-identity-theft-and-cybercrime

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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations – the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Northampton County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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