Young Couple with a Bail Bondsman

Identity Theft

Young couple meeting bail bondsmanIdentity theft is one of the biggest problems in the world and one of the most widespread crimes. Every day, millions of people are victims, with many not even knowing it until much damage has been done. It can destroy a person’s credit and prevent them from making a large purchase such as a house or vehicle.

 

Identity theft is a white collar crime that involves the use of another individual’s personal or financial information knowingly and willingly for one’s own gain. It falls under the criminal category of fraud and can cause a lot of havoc on a person’s life. In many instances, when a person falls victim to identity theft, their information is stolen for the purpose of opening a fraudulent credit card to make purchases. However, it can also occur when a person’s financial account is compromised and a thief attempts to use it to make their own purchases.

Often, identity theft can occur when you use a computer to make online purchases and store your credit card information on it. If you use a computer that is shared, such as one at your workplace or even on your own while using a shared Wi-Fi connection, you should never store your passwords because they can be detected by savvy hackers who can use the information for their own benefit. In most cases, when an online account is compromised, the thief will change the individual’s mailing address and fraudulently make purchases on the person’s credit or debit card and have the items sent there.

Another way identity theft can occur is when you fail to shred any personal or financial information you discard. For instance, if you recycle old bank or credit card statements, be sure to thoroughly shred them so that nobody can read the information if they go through your recycling. When you are out and are filling in personal information, such as at a bank or at the DMV, be cautious. Often, a thief will simply look over your shoulder while you are writing personal information down on a form. Identity theft can even occur when someone sells a person’s personal or financial information in a fraudulent manner.

Identity theft is considered a misdemeanor or even a felony. If someone is charged with the lesser charge of misdemeanor, they can expect up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. However, when convicted of a felony, the individual will receive up to three years of incarceration in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Anyone who is arrested for identity theft should seek the help of a bail bonds company to get released from jail. Bail amounts vary from state and even counties within a state and depending on the severity of the identity theft charge. For example, in San Diego, California, someone charged with identity theft can have a bail set at $50,000. However, that amount can be as much as $40,000 more if the individual has a prior conviction.

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