Chester County Identity Theft Attorney

Legislators and agencies of law enforcement across the country have continued their efforts to prevent the crime of identity theft. In 2003, the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) was implemented that revised provisions in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970. One of the key aspects of FACTA was to enhance consumer protections related to the crime. Consumers were given the right to a free copy of their credit report annually and federal rules were developed for “red flagging” of potential signs of identity theft.

Identity Theft: Neighboring State Comparison (2017)[1]

 

Pennsylvania

Maryland

New Jersey

New York

Ohio

West Virginia

Rate: 100,000 People

97

129

106

103

78

55

Total Reported

12,468

7,788

9,533

20,397

9,121

1,000

State Rank

18th

5th

15th

16th

30th

51st

Impact of Social Media

According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, social media and networking sites are a large potential source of personal information for identity thieves. Users typically create some form of profile and may often disclose a wealth of information. Users commonly victimized have their privacy settings too low, accept invitations to connect with strangers, or download potentially harmful applications. Other risks include participating in a quiz or survey that requests personal information or responding to “phishing” scams that ask you to update details of your profile.

Understanding Identity Theft

This is a crime where unlawful acts are committed using someone's personal information without their knowledge or consent. Some of the common characteristics of the crime are as follows:

  • Sources of information may be physical documents, images, photos, and others
  • Common documents involved include a birth certificate, Social Security card, driver's license, state-issued ID, account or billing statement, and more
  • Highly sensitive data commonly used include Social Security numbers, date of birth, bank routing and/or account numbers, and others.

Possible Misdemeanor or Felony Offenses

When the theft involves the value of less than $2,000, the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree. When the value exceeds $2,000, the offense is upgraded to a felony of the third degree. All offenses that involve conspiring with others are also felonies of the third degree. When the victim is either less than 18 years of age or over the age of 60, the offense is enhanced by one grade (level). Those who are third-time offenders are charged with a felony of the second degree.

Offense Level

Maximum Imprisonment

Maximum Fine

Second-Degree Felony

10 years

$25,000

Third-Degree Felony

7 years

$15,000

First-Degree Misdemeanor

5 years

$10,000

Court-Ordered Restitution

Those offenders convicted of identity theft or access device fraud may be ordered to make restitution to their victims. These reparations are independent of any fines imposed. These funds are often necessary for defending civil actions in court, pay fees to credit bureaus and legal fees that stem from the theft.

Falsely Impersonating Persons Privately Employed (§4115)

This is a similar offense where an individual attempts to impersonate or assume the identity of an employee in order to unlawfully gain access to premises. The offense is charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree.

Pennsylvania Defense Lawyer for Cases of Identity Theft 

Attorney Joseph D. Lento provides aggressive legal defense on behalf of clients that are facing allegations relating to theft. He will thoroughly examine events, facts, and evidence to formulate a comprehensive defensive strategy. For a complimentary case evaluation, contact the office at (888) 535-3686.


[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.

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