In this digital age where so many things are purchased online using simply the series of numbers on a credit card, identity theft has been on the rise. Current laws make it a serious criminal offense to assume another person’s identity or use their financial information or any reason, including for financial gain. Whether a person is simply looking to improve their credit score by using someone else’s social security number and credit information, or using someone’s identification information to apply for lines of credit to purchase things for themselves, identity theft is a real crime that is often punished with up to 15 years in prison.
While identity theft is a federal crime, it can occur in a wide variety of ways and can take a numberof different forms. From stealing a person’s bankcard PIN number to gain access to their bank account, to full-scale identity theft involving using another person’s identification information to apply for loans, purchase cars and get new apartments, people have their identification and financial information stolen every day. Some of the most popular methods of gaining the necessary information involve hacking into supposedly secure databases, or internet purchasing scams that trick unsuspecting victims into giving up their important information.
In Los Angele County, officers with the L.A. County Identity Theft Task Force arrested two men the day before Thanksgiving on suspicion of identity theft. Mauro Cortez and Rigoberto Cortez were suspected of using the identities of several Army Reservists currently serving tours of duty in Afghanistan to establish credit and eventually purchahe vehicles for themselves. The two men were said to have been given the necessary information by another U.S. Army Reservist who is also currently on active duty.
Identity theft is always an appalling crime since it involves the theft of sensitive information as well as, ultimately, money from anoter person, but this crime is particularly easy to see as despicable since it involved United State’s soldiers currently away on active duty. However, it really does not matter whose identity or financial information is stolen, or from where the information was gained. If you or someone you know is facing identity theft charges, it is urgent that you find an exceptional criminal defense attorney right away, particularly one that is qualified to handle federal crimes since many identity theft cases turn out to be federal offenses.