A Fraud Attorney Melbourne, FL Clients Recommend Explains the Basics of Identity Theft
Each state has their own specific legal definition of fraud. In general, however, fraud pertains to intentional misrepresentation of information as a means of gaining something in return; in many cases, the motive is financial gain. Identity theft is one of the more well-known forms of fraud.
In identity theft cases, victims have their personal and identification information stolen. This may apply to social security numbers, PIN numbers, or credit card history. The fraud attorneys at Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC have extensive legal experience defending identity theft cases. Our Melbourne FL legal team continues to provide excellent service and knowledge to individuals who have been accused of identity theft. Common Elements of Fraud.
Federal Identity Theft Act
Although specific laws impacting identity theft can vary depending on the state, the federal government does provide insight into what may constitute identity theft. Prior to 1998, the unauthorized use of another’s personal identification information was considered to be a form of false personation. However, growing concerns with identity theft led Congress to take action and pass the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act.
The Act essentially made it a federal crime to knowingly use or transfer, without legal authority, a means of identification for another person with the intent to aid, abet, or commit any illegal activity that constitutes a felony under any applicable state or local law or violate federal law.
The Act accomplished multiple things:
- Identity theft penalties are now substantially greater than before. An individual convicted of identity theft could face up to 15 years in prison, as well as large fines.
- The Act eliminated various loopholes. Such loopholes allowed a person to steal another’s identity information as long as they did not possess fake identity documents. Today, you face serious penalties for stealing another individual’s identity.
- Before the Act, victim emphasis was often placed on financial institutions as opposed to the actual individual whose identity was stolen. Now, it is a separate crime against the victim whose credit was destroyed and identity stolen.
- The Act effectively established the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC is the headquarters for reporting identity theft cases.
The federal government is cracking down on cases of identity theft. If you have been accused of identity theft, speak with an attorney from the law office of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC. Our attorneys have more than 75 years of combined legal experience defending identity theft cases. The penalties for identity theft can be severe; it is important to place your case in the hands of a trusted fraud attorney Melbourne, FL trusts from the office of Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC. Call us to schedule a free consultation.