Identity Theft, also known as Identity Fraud, is a serious crime that can land you in the State prison. Federal Trade Commission statistics show that in 2009 13.9 million Americans had their identities stolen. 1 in 20 consumers will have their identity stolen this year.
What is Identity Theft?
Identity Theft occurs when a person poses as another in order to obtain money, credit, services or anything of value. The perpetrator will obtain your sensitive information such as a driver’s license number, social security number or bank information and appropriate the information to their benefit.
How Does This Happen?
There are countless ways your identity can be stolen. Maybe a pickpocket steals your wallet and uses your credit cards at the mall. Sometimes creeps will “dumpster dive” rummaging thru banana peels and baby diapers hoping to snag your bank statement. Other times identifying information is stolen by much more sophisticated criminal syndicates who steal your identifying information from major box stores or financial institutions.
How to Protect Yourself
Use common sense. Keep all your personal information secure. Lock your child’s personal information in a safe or in a safe deposit box at the bank. Don’t keep important documents such as birth certificates and social security cards lying around the house as this is an easy target for a thief. Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet or purse. Spend a few bucks and buy yourself a shredder – destroy bank statements, credit card statements, credit card receipts and all sensitive information. Lastly, don’t leave your mail in the mailbox with that dumb flag sticking up like a beacon for the world to see. Rather, deliver your mail to the post office.
Identity Theft Penalties
In New Hampshire Identity Fraud is a crime defined by statute. Identity Fraud is a class “A” felony punishable by up to 7 ½ to 15 years in the New Hampshire State Prison and a high fine. Defendants are often ordered to make restitution to the victim for economic losses suffered.
If you are facing a charge of Identity Fraud call Attorneys Shepherd & Osborne. Attorneys Justin Shepherd and Mark Osborne always offer a free consultation and are happy to discuss your case.
Our telephone number is: 603-595-5525