Identity Theft Punishments in Nevada
Money and properties are not the only thing that can be taken away from you—even your personal details can be exploited for further crimes that you could have never imagine. Theft crimes are a perpetual problem in Nevada. Since the beginning of time, they had taken different forms such a grand larceny, embezzlement, and pickpocketing but nothing must have been more sinister than an identity theft. Thieves do not only meddle with your possessions but also invade your privacy.
In this article, we talk about implications and punishments of identity theft and what you could do if you are a victim or someone wrongly accused of it.
What constitutes as identity theft in Las Vegas, Nevada?
Identity theft is described in Nevada’s penal code, specifically in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 205.463 as the act of “obtaining and using personal identifying information of another person to harm or impersonate [the] person, to obtain certain non-public records or for other unlawful purpose.” This means you cannot use other people’s personal information to hack you way in their accounts and pull out money or other resources.
These days, identity theft are done through different methods. Here are some that you should be aware of:
Identity thieves raid trash bins, looking for receipts, bank statements, and other files with personal information in hopes of using them to steal. Even if dumpster diving sounds funny and seems petty at first, committing it subjects someone to identity theft punishments.
It is in the Internet where most people find themselves victimized of techniques of identity theft. One of the most common form of these is phishing where they send you messages, particularly an e-mail, acting as a legitimate company that you could be working on or having services from. They will ask for your personal information. Once you submit it into a form they have provided, they can easily access your bank account to perform the thievery.
Identity theft can also be done when you swipe your card through devices that were purposely made by thieves to capture or “skim” your information. These devices could be attached to ATMs or on card readers in stores. If caught installing or tracked as the culprit behind the installation of skimming devices, one may be subjected to identity theft charges and identity theft punishments.
Sometimes, identity thieves also pose as organizations or businesses and will you send you a message that you have won something and they need your personal information for you to claim your prize. This is one of the oldest form of baiting people so identity theft could be executed.
Your identity could be stolen through old-fashioned stealing or robbery. When they take hold of your wallets or purses, it is no trouble for them to steal from you as they have your actual credit and/or debit cards and other personal information.
But what do thieves do next with these stolen information? Here are some of the forms of identity theft that could happen:
- They can use your info to open loans
- They could guess passwords for the birthdays and other personal information they have taken from you
- Aside from loans, thieves could open credit card accounts, buy flight tickets, use your insurance for medical treatments, or purchase lavish items
Identity theft is real harmful as you could lose all of the things you have worked hard for. In Nevada, calling identity theft as rampant is somewhat an understatement as it had been reported to be the State with the most identity theft incidents. This is according to numerous studies like those of ASecureLife who even called Nevada the riskiest State for identity theft.
What are the identity theft punishments in Nevada?
Identity theft punishments in Nevada depend on how much is stolen and on the number of the victims. However, the basic sentence is a category B felony with punishments of imprisonment in the State prison for a minimum term of not less than a year and not exceeding 20 years. Average fines cost a staggering $100,000 and an added reinstitution to the victims.
And according to NRS 205.463, when the identity theft targeted older or vulnerable victims, had stolen from five or more persons, or caused financial loss or injury costing at least $3,000, a category B felony should be in order. This entails three to 20 years of prison term, fines of $100,000, and reinstitution.
The federal government is also known to be keeping an eye on identity thefts under the identity theft penal code called the Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act as it can blow up from State-exclusive cases to one that could threaten the entire nation. When identity theft becomes punishable under federal laws, the suspect could face penalties such as 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
What to do if you become a victim of identity theft in Nevada?
Identity theft can happen those who uses debit or credit cards and the most probable victims would be people of old age, individuals who are mentally incapacitated, and people unaware of the dangers of the crime. Identity theft can also be prevalent in Las Vegas or any other places teeming with tourists.
Nonetheless, no matter the age or state of the victim, he or she should take steps below after his or her identity is stolen.
- Notify the bank and ask for a lockdown or a credit freeze
- Check the credit card and bank statements for any activities not done by the cardholder
- Employ a fraud alert for the credit reports
- File a report to the Federal Trade Commission
- Change passwords
Nevada also offers an Identity Theft Program where victims will be given an authorized card that they could use to clear their name of the crimes the thief must have done under their identity.
For the most part, identity theft can be preventable. Make sure that you always have your important cards on your sight or somewhere very secure and also be wary of swiping them anywhere, especially on suspicious businesses or other establishments.
On the other hand, if you are being accused of identity theft, you can use several defenses to protect yourself from identity theft charges. You can consider either of the following to dodge undeserved identity theft punishments:
- You were given consent to use the identity (an older person asked you to do so because they cannot process themselves)
- There was no proper evidence to place you as the one who stole one’s identity
- You were under duress
- You were intoxicated
- Due to the statutes of limitations, you are no longer accountable to the theft
The prime aim for identity theft is to get money from a cardholder’s bank account or other sources. However, it can also incur the trauma of strangers getting into what supposed to be something only you should have access to. It is malicious and definitely just an advance way of destroying one’s life.
Now that you know ample information about identity theft, you will be better equipped to handle identity charges in the future. Still, whether you are a victim or the accused, you will need the help of a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney to avoid identity theft punishments.