New Jersey Identity Theft Laws
The state of New Jersey has several laws as regards Identity theft.
Identity theft refers to the practice of someone collecting the personally identifying information of another person, such as the credit card number, name, address or social security number, without the permission of the owner, in order to commit fraud or other illegal practices.
These practices include opening bank accounts, credit card accounts, establishing lines of credit, seeking employment and more.
It is, however, imperative that you check your account report regularly in order to know when the figures do not add up when your identity has been compromised.
New Jersey Identity Theft Laws
The Law of the State of New Jersey considers identity as an offense, in its different forms, which includes
- Assuming a false Identity
- Impersonating another person
- Obtaining personal identifying information as regards other people and
- Using the personal identifying information collected to obtain services, benefits, attempt to not pay debts or evade prosecution by committing a crime in the name of another person.
How does Identity theft occur?
There are several ways by which the personal identifying information of individuals can be compromised and they include the following:
This involves the perpetrator looking through your garbage or trash for your bills or other documents that have your personal identifying information on it.
This is done with the use of a slimmer, which is a small electronic device that reads the information stored on the magnetic strip of a credit card when it is swiped through it. This device is small and can be concealed easily in a pocket.
This involves diverting your bills and documents to another address, where they will be read. It also involves stealing mail from your mailbox.
The personal identifying information of the individual is acquired by stealing the wallet or purse of the individual or burgling their home or car.
This involves receiving a text or call from an individual who pretends to be a legitimate institution (such as finance), in order to trick you into disclosing your personal information.
This is a scam that is carried out via electronic mails sent from financial institutions that appear as legitimate, in order to trick you into disclosing your personal information such as your account and password by sending it to them. It could be a common text notifying you of the “security issue” with your bank, which would require you to confirm or reset your password.
Wrongful Access to Information
This occurs when a computer system or database containing the personal identifying information of another person is accessed, intentionally.
Disclosing this information with other people is a crime that is considered a third-degree felony charge.
If the data is however protected by the law or the government, and it is still accessed, then the crime is increased to a second-degree felony charge.
The penalties for identity theft in the state of New Jersey depends on the amount of money that was removed from the account of the victim. If the loss incurred through identity theft is:
- Less than $500, then the crime is considered to be a fourth-degree felony charge
- More than $500 but less than $75,000, then the crime is considered to be a third-degree felony charge which attracts a maximum of five years jail time and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
- More than $75,000, then the crime is considered to be a seconds degree felony charge which is punishable with a maximum of ten years jail time and/or a fine of up to $150,000