Over 50 Years’ Combined Experience
Identity Theft Charges & Sentencing - 18 USC 1028
Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves stealing another person’s personal information to access financial accounts, obtain credit or loans, and commit other types of crimes. Personal information, such as a Social Security number, date of birth, and financial account information, is used to impersonate the victim and commit fraudulent activities. There are various methods of identity theft, including phishing scams, hacking, and stealing physical documents.
In phishing scams, attackers use email or social media messages to trick victims into providing their personal information. Hacking involves using technology to access a victim’s personal information stored on electronic devices or in online accounts. Stealing physical documents, such as credit cards or passports, allows thieves to access a victim’s financial accounts and personal information.
Identity theft can have serious consequences for victims, including financial losses, damage to credit scores, and legal and reputational harm. To prevent identity theft, individuals should take steps such as protecting their personal information, regularly monitoring their financial accounts, and using strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
Penalties for identity theft can vary based on the scope and nature of the crime. In the United States, penalties for identity theft can include fines, imprisonment, and restitution to victims. Victims of identity theft should report the crime to law enforcement and credit bureaus to prevent further damage to their finances and reputation.
Who Investigates ID Theft
Identity theft is investigated by various law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Secret Service. These agencies work together to investigate and prosecute individuals or entities suspected of committing identity theft. In addition, victims of identity theft can report the crime to local law enforcement agencies and credit bureaus.
Identity Theft Penalties
The United States Sentencing Guidelines provide a framework for determining the penalties for identity theft offenses. The penalties are based on the severity of the offense and the offender’s criminal history. In general, identity theft offenses are categorized as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor offenses carry a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Felony offenses can carry penalties of a 2 year MANDATORY MINIMUM and up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. Additionally, the offender may be required to pay restitution to the victim for any financial losses suffered. The guidelines also provide for enhancements to the sentence based on factors such as the number of victims and the amount of loss.