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