Identify theft is a very common type of theft that can be perpetrated even with harmless intent. What could have been a harmless borrowing of information could turn into a serious offense. Identity theft is a type of white-collar crime that occurs when someone illegally uses someone’s personal identifying information without their permission. In order to avoid being accused of identify theft, here are the different ways you could be charged for this crime, and how you can defend yourself.
How Can I Be Accused of Identity Theft?
– Withdrawing money from someone’s bank account: If you acquired someone’s banking account information, you could be accused of theft if you spend their money or withdraw cash without the account owner’s permission.
– Using someone’s health care information: If you know someone’s health care provider information, you could be accused of identity theft if you attempt to use their health care insurance.
– Filling out someone’s tax refund: You can also be accused of identity theft if you attempt to use someone’s tax information to fill out their tax refunds.
– Impersonating victims if you have been in contact with the police: This happens in pretty extreme cases, but if you attempt to be somebody else while being arrested or pulled over by a police officer, you could be charged with stealing someone’s identity.
How Can I Defend Myself Against an Identity Theft Charge?
When it comes to a legitimate defense, the phrase “unlawful purpose” can be used to explain your reasoning behind the crime. Identify theft only becomes a crime if you decide to use the identifying information to make purchases or commit other acts without the person’s consent. To defend yourself, you can establish there was never an actual intent to use the information for “unlawful purposes.” You can also attempt to prove that you never had this information in the first place, and that someone is trying to wrongly accuse you.