Identity Theft

Identity theft is the unlawful use of a person’s personal identification information. Identity thieves steal information such as your name, social security number, driver's license information, or bank and credit card accounts and use the information to establish credit, make purchases, apply for loans or even seek employment.

One way of formally starting an investigation as to identity theft for a victim is to obtain an Identity Theft Victim Kit from the Federal Trade Commission. This is a forum that provides victims with specific instructions for filing a police report and a start to clearing their names. In New York, another way to attack Identity Theft is to read the tips from the New York Division of Consumer Protection.

Our firm has handled certain cases by individuals who have been victimized by identity theft. Identity theft perpetrators can come in the form of family members, or other persons with access to the victim’s personal information, either social security number, driver's license number, date of birth, or asset information. Armed with such sensitive information, an unscrupulous identity thief can open up credit card accounts, mortgages, utility accounts, steal money, or other assets from an unknowing individual.

While identity theft is a crime in New York, such conduct can lead to money damages and/or an injunction against the offender. Of course, with these cases, it is crucial to determine initially that the victim can even find the offender. Even the worst identity theft can go unpunished if the perpetrator leaves the country or otherwise “disappears.” Once found and exposed however, it is likely that the identity thief will capitulate with the demands of the victim under the threat of facing additional monetary and/or criminal penalties.

From a criminal perspective, the following are the more egregious forms from the New York Penal Law §190 with links.

SectionOffenseClass
190.00Issuing a bad check; definitions of terms.
190.05Issuing a bad check.B MISD
190.10Issuing a bad check; presumptions.
190.15Issuing a bad check; defenses.
190.20False advertising.A MISD
190.23False personation.B MISD
190.25Criminal impersonation in the second degree.A MISD
190.26Criminal impersonation in the first degree.E FELONY
190.27Criminal sale of a police uniform.A MISD
190.30Unlawfully concealing a will.E FELONY
190.35Misconduct by corporate official.B MISD
190.40Criminal usury in the second degree.E FELONY
190.42Criminal usury in the first degree.C FELONY
190.45Possession of usurious loan records.A MISD
190.50Unlawful collection practices.B MISD
190.55Making a false statement of credit terms.A MISD
190.60Scheme to defraud in the second degree.A MISD
190.65Scheme to defraud in the first degree.E FELONY
190.70Scheme to defraud the state by unlawfully selling prescriptions.A MISD
190.72Unauthorized radio transmission.A MISD
190.75Criminal use of an access device in the second degree.A MISD
190.76Criminal use of an access device in the first degree.E FELONY
190.77Offenses involving theft of identity; definitions.
190.78Identity theft in the third degree.A MISD
190.79Identity theft in the second degree.E FELONY
190.80Identity theft in the first degree.D FELONY
190.80-aAggravated identity theft.D FELONY
190.81Unlawful possession of personal identification information in the third degree.A MISD
190.82Unlawful possession of personal identification information in the second degree.E FELONY
190.83Unlawful possession of personal identification information in the first degree.D FELONY
190.84Defenses.
190.85Unlawful possession of a skimmer device in the second degree.A MISD
190.86Unlawful possession of a skimmer device in the first degree.E FELONY
190.87Immigrant assistant services fraud in the second degree.A MISD
190.89Immigrant assistance services fraud in the first degree.E FELONY
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