West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer: Identity Theft and the Age of Technology
Broward criminal attorney William Moore knows that theft cases are not always clear-cut. Whether the alleged crime is a simple shoplifting incident, an armed robbery, burglary of an occupied dwelling, dealing in stolen property, or some sort of kleptomaniac rampage, he is prepared to provide reasoned legal counsel for every case. Although ten or fifteen years ago credit card fraud was not unheard of, it has increased significantly in the past few years. In particular, identity theft has spiked, and businesses and consumers have continued to look for new measures to guard against identity theft, as well as solutions for those who fall victim to it. Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore believes that people who commit identity theft have a myriad of reasons for doing so, depending on the particular person. While some may be motivated by simple greed, and may even launch an entire identity theft and credit card fraud operation, others may simply be unable to afford items that they want or need during a recession, and give into their impulses.
Identity theft has only been a federal crime since 1998, which speaks to the new nature of the problem. Congress decided to act after a man, who was already a felon, stole the name and personal data of another individual. The felon racked up in excess of $100,000 of debt from credit cards in the name of his victim, even securing a mortgage through the FHA program insured by the federal government and purchasing guns and vehicles. Later, the felon filed for bankruptcy in the name of the victim, an act that can destroy a person’s credit for years. The felon even made telephone calls to the victim to harass him. Although the victim and his family were forced to spend thousands of dollars and several years attempting to rectify the situation, they were never awarded restitution. Instead, the felon was convicted of making a false statement to procure a firearm and no other charges. Under the new federal legislation, he would almost certainly face tougher penalties.
Broward criminal lawyer Moore notes that identity theft can begin in many ways: some email users, for example, respond to “phishing” emails, which are bogus messages purporting to be from a financial institution or other trusted business. A link in the email takes the user to a website that looks very similar to the site of the business the user knows. There, the fake website will request personal identifying information from the user. Other culprits can include “preapproved” credit card solicitations, which a criminal rummaging through the trash could locate and take upon himself to activate. If he arranges for the bills to be sent to a different address than the victim’s home, the victim may not become aware of the existence of the account until it is already in default or has been sent to a collections company.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has experience in all kinds of criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A conviction for a felony or misdemeanor can have consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime in the south Florida area, contact William Moore, P.A., which has offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.