Identity theft affects many New Yorkers each year. An arrest for this white-collar crime is life-changing. There are different ways that identity theft can occur.
What is identity theft?
Identity theft is a white-collar crime that occurs when a person fraudulently gains access to someone else’s personal information and uses it for their own benefit without that person’s permission. It is a crime that can cause a lot of damage to the victim’s reputation personally and financially. Victims can suffer the consequences of identity theft for years.
How does identity theft occur?
There are many different ways that a thief can gain a person’s identity. Before technology advanced to the digital age, a criminal could commit identity theft by digging through a person’s garbage or recycling and obtain credit card or bank statements. Stealing someone’s wallet was another common way to commit identity theft. However, thieves have grown savvier over the years with advancements in technology and now have many more means to steal a person’s identity.
Some identity thefts gain access to a victim’s information through unsecured Wi-Fi connections on their cell phones or laptops.
The practice of “skimming” at ATM machines has become popular in the last few years as a way for criminals to commit identity theft. This is done when an electronic device is attached and hidden within the ATM that steals the information stored on the magnetic strip of a credit or debit card.
Data breaches occur often and involve a dump of people’s personal and financial information. This makes it easy for thieves to gain access to a victim’s identity and use it to their advantage.
Phishing crimes are common with identity theft as well. Criminals send emails or texts with a rogue link to tempt victims into clicking so they can gain access to their information.
An arrest for identity is no joke. If you’re charged, you need a solid defense in your case.