Identity Theft in North Carolina refers to stealing the identity of an individual to defraud the person.
Identity Theft in North Carolina
The purpose of stealing the identity is to impersonate the individual to obtain benefits that can be financial, non-financial, or both. The information used in impersonation is usually obtained from records of some kind, be it public records or mail, online sources, wallets, and more.
They are then used to either open new accounts using the individual’s information and access the bank of the victim and their credit accounts.
Under the laws of North Carolina, an individual commits identity theft when he obtains or possesses an individual’s personal information and then uses the information to:
- make financial or credit transactions in the name of the victim
- acquire anything of value in advance
- avoid any legal issues.
The impersonator must intend to fraud the individual whose identity is bung impersonated. For example, provided that a friend uses the credit card of the other friend to make purchases or pay bills, with the permission of the other friend, Identity theft has not been committed. Still, the individual whose identity was stolen without permission is guilty of identity theft.
There are different information that is meant to be private to the individual, and they are:
driver’s license, checking, savings, credit card or debit card, PINs, email addresses, social security number, personal finance information, fingerprints, digital signatures, passwords and biometric data, parent’s surname, last names before marriage, and other information that may use to access the financial information of the individual.
Trafficking in Stolen Identities
In North Carolina, it is regarded as a crime to buy, sell, or transfer identity information to attempt or commit identity fraud.
Theft of Financial Transaction Cards
It is a crime in North Carolina to withhold the financial transaction card of another person in a bid to acquire funds, goods, or credits. It is also a crime to use a lost card or selling a financial transaction card.
Identity theft is a severe crime, and the court’s sentence is dependent on the severity of the crime and the criminal record of the defendant if any.
- Identify theft in North Carolina is a Class G felony, which is punishable by sentencing the defendant to eight to 31 months in prison, provided that the victim is arrested and convicted of the crime.
- However, suppose the defendant has the identity information of a minimum of three people. In that case, the crime is a Crime F Felony, which is punishable by sentencing the defendant to ten or 41 months in prison.
- If the individual is involved in trafficking in stolen identities, it regards as a Class E felony, and it is punishable by spending 15 to 63 months in prison.
- It is also a crime to use a scanning device to obtain the information on a credit card; this crime is regarded as a Class I felony. It is punishable by sentencing the defendant to a minimum of a year in prison. However, if the amount stolen is perhaps less than $500, the charge reduces to a misdemeanor charge.
Apart from the jail term, the court may also require the defendant to pay a fine, as well as pay restitution to the victim, for any money lost in relation to the crime, which may include lost wages, attorney’s fees, out-of-pocket expenses, and other costs that may correct the history of the victim.
The civil damage to the criminal offense could be greater than $5000 for each case of identity theft, or three times the actual damages.
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