Identity theft is a popular crime that seems to get more popular as time passes because of advances of technology, the lack of privacy of the social media era, and the ease with which people can obtain your personal information. Every jurisdiction in the United States has laws regarding identity theft.
This blog will specifically discuss identity theft laws in the state of North Carolina. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
Source of law for identity theft
In North Carolina, this crime is covered under North Carolina General Statute 14-113.20, and covers a wide range of activities. The law makes is illegal for “a person who knowingly obtains, possesses, or uses identifying information of another person, living or dead, with the intent to fraudulently represent that the person is the other person for the purposes of making financial or credit transactions in the other person’s name, to obtain anything of value, benefit for advantage, or for the purpose of avoiding legal consequences is guilty of a felony.”*
The level of the felony depends on the facts surrounding the incident, or the circumstances of the loss suffered by the victim, and/or the number of false identifications the defendant has in his or her possession.
*This crime follows the North Carolina Felony Sentencing Guidelines
Examples of identify theft
There are several examples of identify theft and several examples of what “identifying information” can lead to an identity theft charge.
Identifying information examples:
- Social security numbers
- Checking account numbers
- Personal identification numbers
Common forms of identity theft:
- The defendant uses someone else’s debit or credit card without that person’s permission, and purports to be that person in order to purchase goods or services.
- The defendant is undocumented, and he uses the social security number of someone else in order to get himself a government identification and the ability to obtain legal employment.
- Someone uses someone else’s login informational fraudulently to make online purchases.
- Someone uses a device or some other form of technology in order to clone the debit card or credit card of another person.
*It is important to note that with a lot of these examples, additional charges will be applicable and will often be charged in conjunction with the charge of identity theft. Just some examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Obtaining property under false pretenses
- Financial card theft
- Possession of a fraudulent identification
- Wire Fraud
- Bank Fraud
This charge is very common and has a broad reach. If you anticipate being charged with a crime or have been charged with a crime, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.